Spices tingle the nose, snake charmers lull their scaly friends and veiled women unleash their henna painting skills on unsuspecting tourists in this, the mother of all shopper’s paradises. Amidst a mishmash of leather shoes, orange juice carts and armies of toy camels, the irrepressible din of a thousand street hawkers rises up through the labyrinthine alleys of Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s best known souk.
The main square put me in sensory overload, each vendor shouting a vigorous attempt to lure us to his cart where he and he alone had the best lanterns/silver/shoes/bags/scarves in all of Marrakech! On this particular trip, I was on a months-long adventure with Steven, aka The Twenty First Century Nomad, and my poor backpack was already seeing signs of strain. I worried if another souvenir or pair of shoes was crammed in, it may give out on me altogether, thus I forced myself to turn a blind eye on the fabulous hand tooled leather handbags and candy colored ballet flats swarming around me in this colorful bazaar.
Other than getting accosted by one of those pesky henna painters and being told I had to pay an outrageous sum for holding a monkey that was thrust upon me, we came through the Jemaa el-Fna unscathed. Fortunately, due to the precariousness of my backpack, my wallet came through unscathed too.
What is your favorite outdoor market?