I took a brief foray into the medina of Marrakech yesterday, and it was pretty interesting. I admit to being a little concerned at the beginning that I would get lost, but with my new local cell and internet service on my phone, I could tell pretty well at most points what direction I was heading in, even if not all the pathways were mapped. As I made my way through the medina and its souks (the two words are somewhat interchangeable in these contexts, since much of the medina is taken up by the souks), everyone was very friendly. A little too friendly. And every time I was on my way out of one side of the medina, people would try to stop me with such gems as:
“Sorry my friend, that way out is closed”
“You can’t go that way. Mosque.”
“My friend, Jemaa el-Fna (the main square) is this way, don’t go that way”
Although it has been a few years since I have been in India, I remember this type of vender strategy well, and was not taken in. They were quite persistent though, and seemed really bothered that I was not heeding their warnings not to ever leave the medina.
Later in the evening I met back up with Jai and his friend Bjorn for some lovely dinner conversation, and I was surprised a bit by how cold it got at night since it was so hot in the day, but that is the desert for you. Today I think I will check out the gardens and lounge by the pool a bit. I am on vacation after all. I took a few pics of the medina yesterday, which you can check out by clicking through to the gallery below.