GOODBYE MARRAKESH - NOVEMBER 2006
No visit to Marrakesh would be complete without a tour of the Djemaa El Fna, a truly open-air theatre, the main square of Marrakesh, the largest in Morocco and allegedly the largest in Africa! Its fame is not due to its particular beauty, but to the incredible day and night life as well as to its atmosphere. Djemaa el Fna, whose name may mean either «Assembly of the Dead» or «Place of the Vanished Mosque» is famous for the large number of spectacles going on all the time and for the exquisite, tasteful and much appreciated food sold at night at the numerous food stalls. The place, a crossroads of Arab and Berber cultures, was closed to traffic in the early 2000s after having served as a bus station for some time!
"ARGANA - Some believe that the Argana has the best combination of view and price. From the Argana Restaurant one may have a nice view of the place, which is the perfect excuse for poor food..."
THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
"WATER SELLERS - Colourful costumes, leather water-bags and brass cups"
"BARBARY MACAQUE - According to Wikipedia, «The Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus) is a macaque with just a stub of a tail. Found in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco with a small, possibly introduced, population in Gibraltar, the Barbary Macaque is one of the best-known Old World monkey species. Besides humans, they are the only primates that live freely in Europe. Although the species is commonly referred to as the "Barbary Ape", the Barbary Macaque is a true monkey, not an ape. Confusion as to the name could have arisen from the fact that apes are tailless.»"
"TEETH PULLER - He appears as a dentist, but he is also part of the show. Don't believe he would pull out your teeth with nippers right in the middle of the largest town square in Africa. He actually earns his living by charging some money to get the picture taken..."
"DRIED FRUITS - This picture is dedicated to Cergie, who was missing the smells of Morocco"
"SOUK - From the Djemaa el Fna there are several entries to the Marrakesh souk, the traditional North African market which service both the population and the tourist needs. The souk is somehow a labyrinth where you soon lose directions. But, getting lost might be an advantage, as it will allow you to find some beautiful treasures, even if colours and shapes may be exaggerated"
"HANDCRAFTER - This is the same artisan that I saw in Lisbon on the Expo 98, at the Morocco pavillion. It was amazing to see him again in Marrakesh..."
"DJEMAA EL FNA BY NIGHT - As dark descends, the orange juice stalls close, the snake charmers depart, the square opens its dozens of food-stalls, and the crowds take control of the space"
"RED HOUSE DINNER - A farewell dinner to close the visit. The lobster was the only mistake..."