Our first experience with Ramadan, a hammam and some dromedaries
22.08.2009 - 01.09.2009 50 °C
We spent a little time in Morocco, our visit happening to coincide with the start of Ramadan. This may have been a good thing though since we felt more immersed in the culture and we think the vendors may have been a little less aggressive then usual due to their depleted sugar levels. We passed through Tangiers, Marakesh, Merzouga, Essaouira and technically Casablanca, though we really just went from a bus to the airport there.
Not much to say about Tangier. Kinda sleepy town, nothing particularily interesting except perhaps its history (Interzone). Marakesh was a little livelier and we had a good dose of crazy medina souks there (old town market area). These narrow streets are filled with all manner of traffic, from chickens, dogs, people on foot, to people on bikes and scooters. It's quite overwhelming. Not to mention the unmentionable odors that assail you, both delicious and nauseating fighting for command of your nostrils.
We also took a traditional hammam cleaning, basically an exfoliation in a bath house. Nelly enjoyed her experience. I can't say the same for mine.
We took a tour from Marakesh over the high atlas east to Merzouga. This is on the border of the desert where we hopped onto dromedaries and made our way about 10 km into the dunes to spend the night under the stars. It was quite beautiful and I would highly recommend it despite the 50 degree heat and the rather uncomfortable ride on the camels.
We then made our way to the west to Essaouira, a town on the Atlantic coast. Interestingly the hassle factor here as tenfold what we had experienced anywhere else. Every five feet a vendor would be asking you where you're from and won't you take a minute to look at his goods because he has a special price for you today. The extent of the harassment was such that we were shutting people out even if we would have actually been interested in what they were offering.