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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Marrakech- Jemaa El Fna by night

The most popular tourist attraction in Marrakech is the huge square Jemaa El Fna that leads to the old medina that houses a huge winding marketplace. During the day the open square is filled with snake charmers and women offering to do henna on your hands, musicians and performers, and stands selling dried fruit and nuts and orange juice. When we were in Marrakech a few weekends ago Othman and I headed to have dinner in the square, since it's cheap, good, and always an experience! 

We're not quite sure if the sign is like that on
purpose or not... you never know around here!
It's hard to capture how big the square really is. 

Once the sun goes down something very interesting happens-- the snake charmers and henna ladies make way for a bunch of portable restaurants to set up for the night. The cooks buy a bunch of fresh veggies, meats and seafood, or make huge vats of a traditional Moroccan soup called Harira (it's a bit like chili), and serve until their night's supply is finished. If you walk anywhere near their stands, the guys who work there are very insistent in trying to get you to sit down and eat. The food is simple--grilled meats and a variety of veggie salads--but well-priced and fresh. When in Marrakech it's worth a trip!

Our random choice for the night. The only real way to choose if you don't know
one personally is by looking to see which ones have more people eating at them!

Food waiting to be served up.

After Othman and I ate we wandered around a bit,  seeing a few wares out for sale:

Yes those are pirated DVDs and fake Beats headphones.

some more dried fruits and nuts:

and finally had some orange juice for dessert. The fresh squeezed, cold juice from Jma El Fnaa is delicious beyond words. I've never had better, anywhere in the world. When it's hot and sunny there's nothing better you could ask for, and even when it's not you still can't resist. And at 50 cents a glass, why would you want to?

He was happy to pose!

As you can see above, the stand had a bunch of pictures. Seated in
the middle of this one is 
Mohammed V, the grandfather of the current king, 
and standing on the left is his son, the former King Hassan II.

We headed back to the car, stopping to snap a picture of the historical Koutoubia mosque, satisfied with a lovely evening.

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