Saturday, May 31, 2008



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..."


"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..."


Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! This is the last post on Marrakesh 2006. As you can see, I managed to keep my posting delay on 18 months only; a great achievement! ;)
Since I’ll be out next week, I’ll probably won’t have the chance to reply to your comments on the last post before my return and I’m not sure I may comment on your posts until June 10th (I mention June 10th, as it is Portugal’s Day, and a holiday!). Sorry for that, but I promise to visit your blogs as soon as possible…
Meanwhile, Blogtrotter Revival 70s & 80s is on Ireland 1985, Guida’s first trip abroad after the birth of our daughter, and Blogtrotter Revival 90s is in Prague. Enjoy, have a great week and see you ten days from now!

alicesg said...

Wow these photos are great. It shows the daily life of Marrakesh. The supposed to be dentist is funny. Very colourful lifestyle, each photo tells a story. The lobster looked good, wonder why it is a You have a safe and wonderful trip and I will visit your other blogs soon. :)

Azer Mantessa said...

thanks for the date june 10th - portugal's day. hope i can remember to wish the day to all my portuguese bloggers.

you have covered morrocco well BUT i have this complaint and it is major:

out of so many pictures, there is few on belly dancers and this is very frustrating to a scouser as we did not win any trophy this season.

you know us scousers right? everytime we don't win, we watch women :D

looking forward for ireland where great scouse are from :-)

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Quel reportage !
J'attends avec impatience la prochaine étape des merveilleux voyages de GMG.

 gmirage said...

These fotos remind me each of the places I! The lamps, food, night shot are all wonderful!

The teeth puller does remind me of paintings at my dentist's reception! Its exactly how ou desrcibed it!

Have a nice time!!!

Nikon said...

Hello Gil! Amazing night shots of an amazing place - so much to see :)
I like the water sellers!
Thankfully, my teeth are in good shape ;)

Ash said...

Awesome images. We really enjoyed this series. What a truly fascinating place :-)

Anonymous said...

Great amazing series of photographs. Always like I was on your trip seeing all these images

Tinsie said...

Wow! Amazingly colourful and vivid photos! They make me feel as if I was there myself :-)

Neva said...

The colors are so bright! Thanks so much for stopping by.....I certainly appreciate it but more I see how much I need to practice when I see your shots! Have a great trip and I will catch up later.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gil,

Thanks again for taking me to so many wonderful places in Morocco. I enjoyed every trip there with all your beautiful photos. I liked the night shots in this post!

And thank you for commenting on my blog.

Ming the Merciless said...

Your evening photos are spectacular, especially photo #2. I love the colors and activitiesat the souk. I hope to visit Marrakesh one day, after I go back to Rome first, of course .
Have a good week. When are you coming to NYC again?

CaBaCuRl said...

Our visit to Marrakech has been far too short, for me at least. It has really opened my eyes up to a part of the world i had not thought much about, but that has all changed. It was the colours in your photos that blew me away...the cobalt sky, the warmth of the stone buildings, and the kaleidoscope of colours in your souk photos.Fantastic, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent photos. Your blog makes my day when I stop by. I've really gotten a good feel of the Marrakesh -- like I'm magically transported there. So, what was wrong with the lobster?


Voegtli said...

Hello GMG,

I discovered your blog through your comment you left on Sue's daily photos.

I am finding it extraordinary. Please give me a few days. I will include you in "May favorite blogs". And present you on my blog. It is just that I am busy running around between doctors, dentist and the Swiss Administration.

Like you I am running around in this world since 40 years. And have a lot to tell, like you.

Have a nice day.


Steve Buser said...

From your pictures you can just feel the electric hum and buzzing of activity of the place.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Great post from Marrakesj, I enjoyed all the Marrocan post en it as if I was there, Thanks for showing....

I'll be gone for a short while because I stay in hospital for a surgerey, I can read the comments, but I quess not post for a while (with 1 arm working) Do you think of me? Bye

Greetings JoAnn froom Holland

Noushy Syah said...

Fascinating destination! Colourful pics of nite at Marrakesh feels like we were there too:)

How abt the lobster?

Have a gr8 weekend.Cu soon.

Anonymous said...

WoW...some fascinating shots..its wonderful viewing the life and culture there through your lens...have a wonderful time!

leo said...

gosh gil, i could almost here the sound and smell the aroma, the colors are so vivid!! i also love the madrassa pics in ur last post. so r u gear up for Euro 08? :) hv a good holiday!

99 said...

Hi Gil,
I loved the dried fruits and the lamps photos at the market. They are jewels!

Marguerite-marie said...

superbe fin de voyage tout est bon et beau j'aime beaucoup le teeth puller!!!grr!!
j'attends de partir vers une autre découverte à bientôt donc

Kiwi said...

It's fantastic to sit in one of the restaurants, at th entrance to the medina, overlooking Djemaa el fna.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Gil, so you are on tour now while I'm still here or: at Marrakesh at the moment. Oh, all those wonderful markets there, the spices especially. Great! Have a nice trip and see you later.

travelphilippines said...

yummmm i wannna have some of those dried fruits...

Tawnya Shields said...

What a beautiful place. I am no twhat you call a "shopper" but in this case I would have to make an exception.

Cities have always been more appealing to me at night. Living in Las Vegas at one point in my life I would say some cities are waaaay more pretty at night. :O)

Great info that you have shared.

Lilli & Nevada said...

My goodness you present another wonderful set of photos with some very interesting information. All are very informative.

PeterParis said...

I admire how you manage to make these very complete posts between you profesional activites ... and to read and comment ours!

In this one I can somehow feel a little bit of deception cocerning the eating part. No clear recommendation of any restaurants this time!

Indrani said...

Loads of info and photos. The snake charmers are lot different from those in India.

Happy Portugal Day!

lyliane six said...

Je n'ai pas été déçue du repas dans un superbe riad.
Mais c'était typique à la région. A Essaouira j'ai mangé des sardines, la pêche locale, elles sont bien fraîches et bien grosses.
Bon voyage à bientôt.

Shionge said...

Did you buy any of the spices? Amazing shots!

Unknown said...

HI Gil :)

Those spices looks good, love the lamps but I'll stay miles away from that 'dentist' for sure!! I'd like to taste those dried fruits, and as usual, this is a stunning place, another place i want to visit, this and probably 20 other countries!!

take care :)

Jules said...

Hi GMG - great shots!! I have given your blog link to a friend heading to Morocco in August - I'm sure she'll be blown away by your photos!!!

RuneE said...

A colourful (in every meaning of the word) post! Many intereting things to see, but I must say that my favourite must be the "dentist"...

Oman said...

Your photos really never fail to amaze me. Its like another trip for me in a different culture. Anyways, just take your time and always take care and hope to see more pics about your journeys upon your return. take care.

hpy said...

La place est déjà intéressante de jour, alors la nuit...

alok said...

awesome !! as always you had put it in a beautiful manner :)

lv2scpbk said...

The photos with the lights are spectacular. It looks like a great place to shop. Lots of selection.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photos. I really like the way you have included some of the daily life photos. They are very interesting and tells a lot of the surroundings and culture. Thanks a lot for sharing. I like the dentist photo best. Nice captures! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Alex's World! -

Wendy said...

Great night shots of the square. I wonder if the "dentist's" dentures are one size fits all!

b.c. said...

wow i love the photos of the people and all the color, the water carriers and the snake charmers were just awesome--wish i could visit too, maybe someday. have a great week! as always thanks for your visits to chicago, be sure to say hi if you ever come visit again ok?

Chris said...


I love your Marrakesh photos. When we were in Tangier, we went to a souk, and I was amazed at all the color and energy in such a tightly cramped space. Of course, the souk itself was HUGE. The one thing that stands out in my mind was the olive stand where they had dozens of kinds of olives in containers just sitting out. The colors were wonderful.

Enjoyed the "trip" as usual!!

MedaM said...

Another series of amazing photos that I enjoyed! Night shots are really wonderful.
Have a nice trip and have a good time!

Ele ^_^ said...

Great shots, as always, is wonderful to see the world trought your photos!! ^^

Lucie said...

Hi, Gil !

Merci de la dédicace, les senteurs me manquent et aussi les fruits séchés, et les étals de poterie (nous avons ramené de la poterie de Fès et un ensemble de poterie de Salé), et le travail du bois qui dégage aussi des odeurs de bois frais, et le yaourt mangé sur la place avec la cuillère que le consommateur précédent a essuyé sur sa djellaba.
L’histoire des dentiers est terrible et me rappelle notre bonne. Mon père, à qui j’avais raconté ses déboires, nous avait donné de quoi lui payer un dentiste pour arracher toutes ses dents, ensuite un dentier.
Une fois nous avons mangé tant de homard, au whisky, grillé, à l’armoricaine, etc que moi qui adore ça ai réussi à être écoeurée !

Nous sommes le 8 juin, alors :
Bon retour chez toi, Trotter !

Lucie said...

Mince, Lucie, c'est moi, Cergie !

virtual nexus said...

Love the stunning night shots and sorry about the lobster!

indicaspecies said...

Another encouraging post with beautiful shots. Thank you.:)

My Unfinished Life said...

wow!!..nice pics with nice writeup!!!
i had seen a food show on marrakesh which highlighted this plc...i think DJEMAA EL FNA has been designated as heritage site by UNESCO

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! Thanks for your visits and comments while I was away! I’m glad to read you here! Marrakesh is now gone and Santiago de Compostela is waiting for its chance to see the light of day on this blog…

Alice SG,
Quite colourful is the least we may say about Marrakesh…
The lobster was frozen and the defrost procedure didn’t help, so I got a very depressing tasteless gummy seafood dish… ;(
Look forward to seeing your comments also on the Revivals…

June 10th, another date on your agenda…
Well, at least on this post you got a belly dancer, though it won’t help to win any trophy this season… ;) The same happened to Roman!!
Ireland is on Blogtrotter Revival 70s & 80s

Merci. La prochaine étape est à la conclusion du Chemin de Saint Jacques…

Glad to make you remember the places you visited… That fake dentist is amazing!

Those water sellers are unbeatable… ;)

Truly fascinating place, I agree!

Thanks for joining the trip!

The photos are just to tell the story; I’m far from being a photographer… ;)
Anyhow, if there is any value there, it’s the places’ worth!

It’s amazing that the night pictures came out well… ;)
So, you’ll make NYC-Lisbon-Rome-Lisbon-Casablanca by plane, and then you drive to Marrakesh… ;))
I’ll try to get back to NYC asap!

Thanks! Glad that you enjoyed the pictures and the post!

Happy to read that you loved the trip. As for the lobster, please see the reply to Alice SG!

Worldman Peter,
Thanks! I’m honoured to be included on your favourite blogs!
As far as travelling is concerned, it may even happen that we crossed our roads sometime…

It’s unbelievable hectic that Djemaa El Fna!

Hope everything went well at the hospital! I was away for a while, but will check your blog to confirm!

Noushy Syah,
Great that you liked to join the trip!
For the lobster, it was frozen and the defrost procedure didn’t help, so I got a very depressing tasteless gummy seafood dish… The problem might be that we are used to some fantastic seafood dishes here in Portugal, so the difference is strongly felt… ;((

Thanks for taking some of your busy time to land and comment here!

Great that you enjoyed the trip.
No Euro, no vacation; just another professional trip, however with some side social events and extra time for some pictures… ;))
Anyhow, Portugal started well!!

Also loved those dried fruits and find the lamps superb…

Merci. J’espère que tu aimeras le prochain voyage à Saint Jacques de Compostelle…

Peter Fristedt,
You’re quite right; a great happening!

Oh dear, Marrakesh was in November 2006; the delay is posting is still in eighteen months… ;)) Souks are ok; and for the spices, you may always visit «L’Herboriste du Paradis”!

Please help yourself!

I fully understand you when you make a shopper’s exception in Morocco, and when you talk about pretty cities at night; in particular if you happen to have been to crazy Vegas… ;))

Lilli & Nevada,
Happy to see that you enjoyed the pictures and post!

It’s getting a bit difficult to conciliate everything, but I’m trying…
That’s true that I had not a great dining experience in Marrakesh, but it was just a short stay… ;))

Thanks! Fortunately, I haven’t seen many snake charmers in my life… ;)

Typique: pastilla, tagine, couscous, c’était très bien; les sardines doivent aussi être bonnes, à juger par les pêcheurs portugais qui les pêchent au Maroc… le problème a été le homard…;(

I bought two sets of spices: a mix for the tagine and a mix of five for the couscous… ;)

The fake dentist is just for the pictures… ;)
Now, you just want to visit 20 more countries? There are more than 200 at the United Nations… ;))

Hope your friend would like to see the posts! But Morocco in August is an experience… ;))

Thanks. That «dentist» is a character…

Thanks! I’ll try to make some more enjoyable posts… ;)

Djemaa El Fna est vraiment inégalable…

Great to see that you loved the post!

Great place for shopping, indeed…

Everyday life, Djemaa, Medina and the souk were the topics of this post; glad that you enjoyed!

That fake dentist is a character!

Thanks. When you head to Morocco make a stopover in Lisbon… ;)
Sure I’ll say hi when I get back to Chicago…

Olá. Great that you enjoyed the trip! We also have some fabulous olives in Portugal, so I’m not that surprised to see the different kinds at the market… ;)

Thanks. Usually, I don’t like my night shots that much, but it seems that this time they came out well… ;))


Merci! L’histoire du yaourt est incroyable, mais j’ai aussi assisté à une expérience collective de couscous… ;))
L’homard je l’aime bien ; seulement cette fois… ;((


The last of the 2006 Morocco experience; glad that you enjoyed…

Shooting Star,
The Medina of Marrakesh was included in UNESCO’s list in 1985!

Anonymous said...

GMG: I'm coming here after a long time, but with an obvious delight. I am going to be in Morocco pretty soon, maybe this year or next and this is amazing! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Glad that you enjoyed this small trip! Hope you have a marvelous time in Morocco; but if you have time, consider also at least Fez, Meknes, Ouarzazate...

Lakshmi said...

So much colour and celebration seems like life is a party out there

Anonymous said...

A great party indeed, though I suspect not for everybody...

Olivier said...

j'avais pas vu ce post, tes photos de nuits sont superbes et j'aime ta promenade dans le Souk

Anonymous said...

Merci; c'est vrai que cette fois les photos de nuit sont sorties mieux que d'habitude...

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

I miss Marrakech...

Trotter said...

No wonder! I've seen your posts... ;))