Part 2, a night in the Medina…a memorable experience…

As darkness fell and the crowds increased, the lights in the Big Square cast a breathtaking glow.

Sunday afternoon, we walked the narrow, out the way streets, most often visited by the locals for their shopping far from the crowded tourist shops. 
Our perception was that the old city of Marrakech was comprised of most of the areas we had seen.  Not the case.  After all, this is a city, not a tiny village.

We enjoyed watching the evening change as the sun began to set. 

As we wandered from one narrow shopping area to another we found ourselves in less “touristy” areas, instead in the areas where many of the locals shop and eat.  The prices at the restaurants were considerably less than in the Big Square, the vendor stands were less “fluffed up” for attracting patrons and the vendors were considerably less aggressive than in the popular souks.  It was another version of this highly cultural and diverse environment.

Grateful to get a table by the railing of the third floor roof of the restaurant, we were excited to watch the evening unfold. 

Of course, this area intrigues us, as has been the case for as we’ve traveled the world.  We’re not trying to cram everything into a long weekend or a one or two week vacation.  We’re trying to experience everyday “life” as much as possible in our short two to three month stint in yet another country. 

Most assuredly, even our short stays aren’t long enough to make a full and fair assessment as to the quality of life long term in an area.  But, we do get the “flavor” of the city, the town, the village, the country in order to determine if someday we’d like to return for a longer stay. 

The smoke from the various fires for cooking created a hazy view of the area.

Few places we’ve visited have left us imminently wanting more, instead leaving us, in each case, with a sense of pride for the region and a connection to its culture and its people, however our short stay may allow.

This was our favorite photo of the night, clearly depicting the color, light and energy occurring at night in the Big Square.

The exception to this has been Marloth Park, South Africa which, for those of you who have followed us these past many months, was unique and special in its own way that will always tug at our hearts.  Most likely, nothing we will ever find again.

Many vendors display their wares on the ground making walking around the Big Square at night a bit challenging as visitors are pushed through the crowds.

In Morocco we find the experience far removed from any past experiences we’ve had, a place drenched in cultural diversity with a potent mix of stimulation of the senses.  

Tom, a little perplexed by the French language spicy menu, wasn’t quite as animated as when there is a burger and fries on the menu. He ordered a three course meal including a salad, a steak and a chocolate mousse which was his favorite of the three.

Where else in the world would one become intoxicated with the smells that waft through every doorway, every narrow alley, every open square and most assuredly, through every house as taste, smell and companionship gather its citizens to commiserate over food?  None other than Morocco. We find ourselves drawn in.

The view from the rooftop of the restaurant.

Yes, the Internet is slow as I sit here now struggling to load photos to share with our readers. 

Yes, no more than 30 seconds from our door we’re bombarded with persistent crowds and barking vendors. 

Yes, the language barrier is a struggle even with my limited French when lovely people such as Madame Zahra only speaks the Marrakech dialect Arabic for which Google translate offers no solution.  Yes, for this long term stay, its not easy.

Many of the vendors lit their displays with visually appealing lighting for the best
advantage for their offered merchandise.
Its from these very challenges that we grow, we adapt and, in our advancing age, we learn more than we ever imagined we’d be learning at this stage in life.  For us, it’s a heck of a lot better than sitting in a high rise waiting to watch “The View” and “Dr. Oz” each day, as we so easily could have done had we chosen another route for our lives after retirement.
This hotel has one of the many restaurants we will try soon.

Instead, Tom spends time each day when we’re not exploring, continually piecing together his ancestry and his varied investments. And, with my ceaseless entrepreneurial spirit in tact I have a website that magically turned into a lifetime dream of writing with adequate fodder to attract a population of readers worldwide. 

After leaving the restaurant, back on ground level, we found an area we’d yet to see, the dining tents.  As we walked by each “booth” we were bombarded by salespeople encouraging us to dine at their station. Each was numbered to ensure one could find the one they’d preferred the next night. These stations are put up and taken down each day to make room for the daytime vendors, a daunting task for the owners and staff.

How ironic that the business spirit that I’ve always possessed has turned into a website with big advertisers without forfeiting the personal perspective that we willingly share each and every day. 

Although I’d just eaten my dinner salad, my mouth watered over these confections. Sweet
desserts are everywhere, none of which I can have nor Tom is interested in.  He prefers a plain cake donut.  

How ironic that my disdain for taking photos up until May of 2013 when we started using the newer camera, would magically turn into a passion for me and for Tom with his great eye for good story telling shots and me, with my determination for a clear and concise angle.

Today, our photos tell more of the story of this “magic carpet like” city as we continue to plan further explorations over the next few months which we’ll joyfully share with you once they are confirmed. 

Each station had a slightly different theme but most, maintain the use of the popular  spices savored in Morocco.

For now, we continue on, with open hearts, inquisitive minds and an impassioned spirit to discover what more this unique environment has to offer.

Mostly tourists, these picnic tables were filled with a hungry captive audience.  We’ll stick to the restaurants which tend to use fresher refrigerated foods.  In any case, it was exciting to walk through this area to see what it was all about.

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