Exploring the Medina of Marrakech

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

After a very eventful plane ride into Morocco, we headed towards the medina (old city) of Marrakech where we would live and start our journey of looking for artisans to work with in developing new products.

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

As we entered the medina, we entered a whole new world. We were back in our element surrounded by loud outdoor markets, languages we couldn’t understand, donkey pulled carts and hard selling vendors. The scene was crazy but we loved it–it felt good to be back in the chaos. We knew that this was where a whole new adventure would begin.

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

As we walked through the narrow walkways of the souk (a traditional North African market), dodging the loud motorcycles, we emerged through an opening into one of the largest outdoor food markets in the world: Jamaa el Fna.

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

The smell of food and smoke from the grills filled the air all around us. There were monkeys jumping on people’s shoulders. There were henna artists grabbing tourists’ hands to draw intricate temporary designs on their skin. There were drummers, performers and musicians playing music all around. There were street vendors selling everything from orange juice to dried fruits & nuts to clay tajines. It was like a huge cultural festival that happened every single night here in the medina until 2am.

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

SONY DSC

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

After exploring the wild square and getting lost in the giant souk of the medina, we headed to the rooftop of the hotel we were staying in to check out the scene from above at night. The view was spectacular. The stars were bright in the clear black sky and we could even see the silhouette of the snow capped Atlas Mountains in the distance thanks to the light from the full moon. It was quiet and peaceful up here—a perfect way to end the chaotic first day we had in the medina below us.

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

We reflected on what life here was going to be like for a bit as the Muslim prayer chants echoed throughout the town for the final time that day. The learning curve here in Morocco was going to be steep. We were living in a new culture that we knew nothing about, where most of the people spoke only Arabic or French (two languages we didn’t know at all). We had done this before though and knew that the next month would be filled with highs and lows, lots of learning, creating, giving and new friends. Life Out of the Box in Marrakech was going to be the ride of a lifetime.

Life Out of the Box in Marrakech, Morocco. The medina square Jemaa el-Fnaa

About these ads

54 responses to “Exploring the Medina of Marrakech

  1. Another fabulous adventure I can follow from the comfort of my armchair! Wow, that photo of the big open market square is right out of a Hitchcock movie – The Spy who Knew Too Much. This was where Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day nearly got killed as a hitman shot a spy in broad daylight in the middle of the square. Cool. Stay safe and keep writing. Glenda, Toronto. xx

  2. Really enjoyed this blog. I lived in Morocco many years ago so lovely to see the images
    And there’s nowhere like that crazy square into the small hours !
    Thanks

  3. My son spent the fall of 2013 on a study abroad in Morocco. He loved it. He was based in Rabat, but travelled all over, including a trek into the Atlas mountains and a stay with a nomad family. Our family lived in Southern France from 2018-2011 and my favorite city was Marseille. At the daily market there, chaos ruled, but in a orderly, poetic kind of way. I’ll be blogging about food and life there soon. Loved your pictures of Marrakech and your descriptions. Good luck and I can’t wait to read about more of your adventures.

    • Wow sounds like a great adventure your son had here. We’ve heard great things about Rabat and hope to visit there in the near future! We love the south of France as well and look forward to hearing about food + life there! Thanks for following along with us on our adventures, more to come very soon! :)

  4. I hope you tried that fresh squeezed orange juice. That is once of my most vivid memories of Marrakesh. (And the mass chaos trying to board the trains!) Good luck and have fun!

    • We did try the orange juice–so fresh and cheap! We haven’t experienced the mass chaos trying to board the trains yet, but we will soon and will let you know when we do :) Thanks so much for following along

      • I was supposed to go to Taghazout for a surf camp while I was studying abroad in Italy and had to cancel the trip last minute! The great thing about traveling out of the country is having the confidence to book a trip in a hostel from the states and just going!

  5. Welcome to the Middle East! Yes, it is indeed another world, so full of life and beauty and color (and complexity..). Maybe not knowing the language is a benefit in learning about the culture, because then you are tuned in to other senses, absorbing the experiences with your whole self and not just the mind that uses words…lots of luck and looking forward to reading about your adventures:)

    • Thanks Aya for such a great comment. You are SO right–not knowing the languages has really made us push ourselves and use other senses to absorb everything around us. You’re so wise :) We’re so happy to have you along with us through this new adventure. We love hearing from you, keep being awesome!

  6. Fabulous new adventure for both of you. Will think of your blog next time we visit Mexico. We will be better prepared with notebooks, pens, etc.:)

    • It’s not always easy winging it, but after doing it for the past couple of years we’ve learned to love the feeling of the unknown. We’re so excited to have you following along with us Angela!! :)

  7. As a three-year Morocco resident, I know you will have a delightful time, full of interesting people, beautiful sights and fantastic memories. And there will be challenges, mostly dealing with governmental paperwork. Have a great time!

  8. Pingback: Our New Home in Marrakech, Morocco | Life Out of the Box·

  9. Pingback: Marrakech: the only way is the 4 star way | travellingcoral·

  10. Pingback: An Experience Money Can’t Buy | Life Out of the Box·

  11. Pingback: Weekend Wisdom: Never Stop Exploring | Life Out of the Box·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s