The draw

Many visitors are drawn to the souks of Marrakech for a thrilling shopping experience. Rugs, brass trays, jewelry, spices, wooden boxes, leather goods and lots more pack tiny shops along winding narrow lanes. Customers bargain to get the best price so a good deal becomes their mission. With so many people crowding the lanes and so many shops with such a broad array of goods, it’s almost too much to take in.

So, we responded by just looking, not buying, YET, on our many walks – cutting through the souk – as we headed for museums. Marrakech’s riches extend beyond shopping if visitors take the time to look.

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Cats are everywhere in the city. The green eyes on this cat led to taking the photo, but it was only after we put it up on the computer that the green color scheme in the composition appeared to us.

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Sunny days heighten the vibrant colors.

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Olives ripening in Cyber Park

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We visited the oldest riad in Marrakech, Dar Cherifa, which dates back to the 14th century.

Did we ever get around to shopping? Yes, even with very limited space in our suitcases we made a purchase of argan oil.

We tried to read up on the best place to shop for both a high quality oil (not diluted) and one produced by a women’s cooperative. We went with the best recommendations we could find, but we’re not sure it fully met our requirements.

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We watched the very slow grinding of the argan seeds to extract the oil.

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Our first purchase at Herboristerie Firdaous in Marrakech

Our friends, John and Angela, eyed a “pouf” (a leather ottoman) on their first day. Each day after, we passed the display. Their last day in town, we walked over to the shop, and John steeled himself as the bargaining began. Numbers went back and forth. John turned to leave. A better number was called out. Finally, to Angela’s relief, a price was agreed upon, and everyone smiled as cash and pouf changed hands.

Handmade leather pouffs for sale at Merzoga Cuir: Leather Shop

Handmade leather pouffs for sale at Merzoga Cuir: Leather Shop

In the end, we all were drawn in. We made our purchases and just hope they’ll fit in our suitcases!

 

October 2014

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14, Morocco and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The draw

  1. We’re planning our first trip to Morocco in mid-February this year and Marrakech is one of our destinations. Love the leather pouf and I, too was wondering how one would transport it home. Now that I know how that they’re packable I might just bring one back to Portugal with me! Anita

  2. leggypeggy says:

    Good luck with the suitcases. Very little ever fits in our backpacks.

  3. As usual I am enjoying your updates. We will be in Morocco in Sept 2015, so I’ll have to review these again at that time. I do have one question. How did your friends get the pouf home?

    • Glad you liked the Morocco posts, and we’re sure you’ll have a wonderful visit there. How did our friends get the pouf home? Great question. Those poufs are big and bulky, but when you take the stuffing out of them, they lie flat, sort of like a leather jacket. Our friends removed the stuffing of plastic bags, folded the pouf flat, and popped it into their luggage. If you plan to buy one, save your plastic bags before you go to Morocco so when you get home you’ll be ready to fill your pouf and use it.

  4. icelandpenny says:

    You’re taking us on a great trip with you, thanks. I especially love the shot of the grinding of the argan seeds. Must add I burst out laughing at the opening shot of the cat — he is eerily similar to the cat that led my post “Bonjour Montreal,” who was also perched in a market place (though much smaller).

    • We had to go back to “Bonjour Montreal” to remind us of “your” cat. Great face. “Our” cat was the one among many in Marrakech that just STOOD OUT from all the others and captured our attention by basically doing nothing but look at us. We guess that’s feline charisma.

  5. Thanks for the tour, and thanks for showing us that beautiful cat!

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