Upon arriving in Marrakech, what was made immediately and abundantly clear to us was how very different it is than anywhere any of us have been. That being said, we are absolutely enthralled by it. It has been a very overwhelming first couple of days, but in the best possible sense of the word. We are really enjoying our exposure to this vastly different culture.
We spent our first day at Djemma al Fna (a major plaza) and in the surrounding souks (shops), getting a feel for the city. The Djemma was full of food vendors, snake charmers, henna artists, monkey tamers, musicians... It stimulated all the senses with its bright colors, loud sounds, and varied smells. The souks were equally as stimulating, but here we found instead mazes of shops selling almost everything imaginable, manned by storekeepers eagerly calling "Chickie, chickie, pretty girl, come see, come here" (or variations on that theme), trying to get you to choose their wares over the ones of the stall next door. We were all exhausted by the end of the day from taking everything in, and were glad to be able to enjoy a delicious, relaxing meal at our hotel together before heading to bed.
This morning we woke up and piled into a van that drove us (after various detours to little shops, lookout points, and herbarists) to the Atlas Mountains to ride camels! We all thoroughly enjoyed our little camel jaunt, and no one got spit on! After our ride, we hiked (perhaps climbed is a better word?) up into the mountains around the Ourika Valley to see some beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking views. All in all, a very fun day. We head to bed tonight tired from our excursions but very happy. Thanks for reading! We'll be back with more Moroccan adventures soon.