MOROCCO 2012 - MARRAKECH (DJEMAA EL FNA)

There is no place I have experienced like Djemma el-Fna. For pure people watching and entertainment value, it cant be beaten. Take up a vantage point on anyone of the numerous roof top cafes, sit back and enjoy one the best open air theatre experiences you can get - all for the price of a mint tea (which you have to buy to get the view!) People have been coming here for over a thousand years to be entertained by snake charmers, dancers, fortune tellers, tooth pullers, story tellers, jugglers and acrobats. You wont go hungry either with a plethora of local food stalls, orange juice vendors and nuts and date vendors all offering up their produce. The aroma of the food cooking from the various food stalls and steam rising into the night is a sight to smell and see. Everyone seems to have their very own piece of the square which they have probably occupied for centuries. I was here in 2005 and nothing had changed when I returned in 2012! Its the heart of Marrakech, and gateway to the Grand Souq that snakes off into the old Medina at a number of gates (Babs) on the square where you can wonder and lose yourself for hours, knowing all roads eventually will lead you back to Djemma el-Fna.

One of my favourite memories of Djemma el-Fna is the evening call to prayer from the various minarets from surrounding mosques, culminating in the final call to prayer from the Grand Koutoubia Mosque which sits just South West of the Square. Respectfully the music from the street performers fade and you are left with just the hum of the crowds and traffic whizzing through the square and the haunting voice of the various Imams whos melancholic and hypnotic voices carry the prayer out over Marrakech for several minutes. It really is an unforgettable and beautiful few minutes.

 

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