And off we went on the busy inner streets of Marrakesh.
We arrived at a little coffee shop where the owner tried to get us to try a variety of things. But they don't understand the difference between "grains" and "wheat", and Marco's Arabic isn't quite good enough to try and get the point across. He even enlisted the help of a passerby who was fluent in French and Arabic to try and help, but we still couldn't get any firm answers.
We thought that some of the items looked like they were made with corn flour, but eventually we just bit the bullet and ordered a crepe rollup kind of thing. We're almost certain that it was made with wheat flour, but so far no ill effects!
Breakfast crepe rollup with like a cream cheese and honey filling.
Butcher across the street. There's always something interesting to see in Marrakesh.
After breakfast, Marco said he would help us get a Moroccan SIM card for the phone. It was very easy...a couple of shops down from the breakfast place was a tiny general store of sorts, and he had SIM cards there. The cost was 30 dirhams ($4.25 CAD, $3.20 USD) for the card, but we were all unsure what that included. All the shopkeeper would say was that it did include internet access, but he didn't know the details.
Back at the house, we sat down at the table and installed the new SIM in the phone. The telephone calling appeared to work instantly, but we couldn't get the internet to work. Marco called their help line, and I had to make a minor change to the settings on the phone. Bingo! It worked right away.
So for that 30 dirhams, we have one hour of local calling and 1 GB of data valid for 7 days. Very cheap. There are other plans available if you want to upgrade, but I haven't totally got that figured out yet!
With that all set up, we went out and did some exploring...
Huge bugainvillea plant.
The streets of Marrakesh.
Rugs for sale.
Literally every few steps there is something interesting to see. Whether it's colorful carpets, exotic lamps, or simply people watching. Just make sure you pay attention to the motorscooters whizzing by you in the narrow alleyways!
Chameleons and turtles.
This is a funny picture.
I was actually quite far away and zoomed in on their colorful uniforms. Just as I snapped the shutter, the guy in the suit starts yelling at me that I'm not to take any photos. I quickly put the camera away. The expressions on the faces of the three guards are hilarious.
Tourist with snake around her neck.
Just trying to attract attention?
If you pay the slightest attention to any of the entertainers or market stalls, even the slightest glance in their direction, and they try and get you closer. They're all very friendly about it, but you have to be really good at saying no, or simply ignoring them.
The Koutoubia Mosque.
Ruth and a fountain.
It was baking hot, at about 32C (90F). Felt really nice actually, because it's the warmest we've been all winter! We walked to a Carrefour grocery store and did a little shopping. Then, we decided to go back to the house and relax for the rest of the afternoon and go out again in the evening.
Things definitely get busier in the evening. The main square is an absolute zoo of people, food, and entertainment...
The busy Jemaa el Fna square.
The Souk El Jadid.
A "souk" is a traditional marketplace in Morocco. The area of the souks in Marrakesh are particularly famous because the little alleyways can go on forever and it's actually very easy to get lost. That's part of the fun, because you'll wind your way out eventually!
They say that you can buy anything in the souks of Marrakesh.
The dried fruit guy.
The plaza turns into a huge street food market at night.
As you're walking through, each stall has touts trying to get you to eat in that stall. Even when you tell them you're full, they still try. All very friendly though. They kept telling me I couldn't possibly have eaten because I'm too skinny! Interestingly, most of the Moroccan men have the same build as I do.
The street food at the plaza is very cheap, so a lot of locals eat here too. Our host Marco says that you can hardly make it yourself for less, and he eats out more than in.
I think we'll be eating here this evening!
The spice guy.
Wow, what a day. You have to take it all in very slowly because there's just so much to see. Almost sensory overload. Everybody very friendly though, and we feel totally safe wandering around on our own. Morocco has a very low crime rate, and the only time you might get robbed is if you don't do a very good job of haggling a price for something you might buy!
Going out exploring again...enjoy your Saturday!
Oh...and Happy 6th birthday to our grandson Cameron...see you in two weeks buddy!
Fantastic unadvertised deal on a new Cuisinart skillet...
And in Canada...