I meant to write an end of the year summary blog post in December 2015 about a highly productive year behind me, but it turns out it was so productive that I couldn’t find any time to actually write about it. To be honest, I didn’t have much to show at that stage as I’d been taking photos for various different projects but most of it was still sitting on my hard drive waiting to be processed and organised. But the images captured in Morocco finally went online recently so here are a few words about what it was like to be there.
We passed on Seville to visit Morocco instead (Seville is now our next destination) because we wanted something that had more of an adventurous feel to it. We got exactly what we were looking for. With all the places we’ve visited in Morocco, it was the famous market square Jemaa el-Fnaa and the surrounding souks (street market) in Marrakesh’s medina quarter (old city) where we had the most fun. Every day at dusk, Jemaa el-Fnaa gradually comes to life with musicians, dancers, snake charmers, monkey trainers, traders and entertainers of all sorts – we even saw boxing matches where anyone could volunteer to fight a round or two. As dark settles in, the steam rising from the many food stalls combined with the distinctly loud noises of the market brings about an unforgettable atmosphere. We wandered through the lively maze, tasted local food, haggled with sellers and absorbed a culture that was quite different from our own.
We couldn’t help but wonder a bit about how the trained Barbary macaques (also known as Barbary ape) were treated by their owners who let the monkeys climb on tourists and instructed them to do various tricks in exchange for cash. Strangely, when we visited Ouzoud Waterfall about 150km northeast of Marrakesh on a day trip, we came across with many Barbary macaques again, but this time they were living in the wild. These wild animals were just as accustomed to people as their captive counterparts in the city and they too were keen to get treats from tourists. Ouzoud Falls was also a memorable experience, the scenery all around is stunning and we had lunch in a restaurant on the cliff side overlooking the waterfall. This may have been the best view I’ve ever had while having a meal.
Every night though, we ended up wandering somewhere in the old city around Jemaa el-Fnaa to enjoy more of that unmistakable vibe. We of course went to see some of the recommended tourist sites like Menara Gardens with a gorgeous view of the Atlas Mountains behind, Bahia Palace and the lush Majorelle Garden, but the market square of Jemaa el-Fnaa with its night-time sensory overload of culture shock seemed to be the darling of Marrakesh.
See more images from the trip below, but please do visit the full collection on my portfolio site along with larger display sizes HERE.
All images on this page are copyrighted by Arpad Lukacs
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Do not use images without permission.