• Russell Roy

Marrakesh Morocco and the Djemaa el-Fna

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

When the sun sets, the Djemaa el-Fna market in Marrakesh comes to life. Snake charmers, acrobats, jugglers, palm readers, music and smoky food stalls all appear creating a mystical atmosphere. Something between Arabian Nights and Aladin. It is crazy. Each night we found ourselves drawn back into the chaos. The smell of charcoal cooked food was a compelling invitation. The energy of the crowd fed off itself and it was impossible to not be a part of it. To this day, the Djemaa el-Fna remains one of our top travel memories. It does leave an impression.

The oddest part is that much of the scene is torn down late each night so that there is hardly a trace the next morning, only to get rebuilt and start all over again the following sunset.

The Djemaa el-Fna market by day.

Dusk approaches and the crowds start to appear along with all of the food stalls that were not present only hours earlier. We stopped at a stall that was serving escargot. That big bowl in the photo below is full of steamed snails. You had to eat them old school by pulling them straight out of the shell yourself. For the record, they were delicious.

The shopping at the various souq's is in full swing by nightfall.

While wondering through the crowd, a lady grabbed Tracy's hand and started to draw on it with henna. Tracy really didn't know what to do so she played along. The result cost a 100 dirham after some haggling.

Each night we played out before the action in the square settled down. This is the view of the Djemaa el-Fna looking back from our hotel balcony. We were close enough to be serenaded to sleep by the drumming.

#Culture #Food