09 November 2012

Naked in Marrakech: Orange juice and wine in tandem

I was in Marrakech the other week. Its central square, Djemaa el Fna (picture), is a good example of a naked street, in much the same way as London's Exhibition Road isn't.

There are no road markings at all, just a wide expanse of pavement. Bikes, horses, mopeds, taxis, buses and cars mingle with sidestepping pedestrians. I was there a week and saw nobody coming to grief, except for some tourists being royally ripped off by the snake charmers.

The narrow cobbled side-streets that curl off the square into souks (picture), so intimate they defeat Google Maps as well as most visitors, are a more linear mayhem.

Not too many bikes there - outnumbered nine to one by hurtling mopeds, I'd say, but matched by horses and the odd delivery-van - but there are enough to count (picture).

And - while fresh orange juice, not beer, is the drink of choice for people-watching in the square, and only thirty pee per glass - you can find Moroccan wine (picture) if you look hard enough.

Not sure you'd get a tandem down those side-streets, though.


  1. Haven't been there but the cuisine from that area (my brother in law is Algerian) is absolutely yummy! I struggle to believe they don't fill the medical rooms up rapidly though in central square.

  2. The orange juice sounds good! Heading to Marrakech autumn 2013, think there will be room in the souk for 2 tourers?!