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Medina in Photos

The Medina Souk at night
While in Marrakech, we stayed near the medina (old town square) and frequented the souk (market) for new and delicious experiences at all hours.

During the day you'll find 20 or more vendors selling hand-squeezed orange juice for 10 cents a glass, women painting hands with henna, men snake charming, and much more. The market depends on tourists but it's charming none the less.

When night comes, the bustle truly begins though and the crowd seemed a better mix of locals and visitors. At nightfall men pulled carts into the square, started generators and assembled the labyrinth of stalls. Stands selling strange meals (sheep's brain, goats head and the like), mounds of dried fruit, vats of escargot, and silver pots of mint julep tea popped up everywhere within the hour. Most of all, I loved peeking around the checkerboards of dates, figs, apricots after dinner.

If you visit this market make sure to bargain for a better price and shop around. Always agree on a price before anything is exchanged. If a monkey jumps on your shoulder or a woman paints a flower on your hand- it's going to cost you even if they say it's free. Browse before picking a place to eat, go where the locals are and don't sit down until you've decided.

*Make friends with an orange juice vendor and be a loyal customer- we always went to stall 16 and after a week they knew our names, took us to a club, pointed us to the best food, and were so helpful.

Lantern utopia
It’s hard to not want to purchase all the beautiful lanterns you come across in the souks of Marrakech.

The dark of the medina
At night, the narrow streets of the Marrakesh medina are dimly lit by old street lamps. The low light made it that much more challenging to find our way back to our riad but I just loved how everything took on an intense burnt amber glow and how the shadows actually highlighted the tile design of the arches.

Door covered in dirt.
The doors in the medina open to private worlds, and each has its own personality. This one needs a bath. The little streets are narrow and dirt covered, which isn't helped by the use of donkeys for transportation. They kick up dirt and make, er, dirt.

Delivering the goods.
Delivering the goods around the Medina in Marrakesh

Another beautiful door.
I must have photographed at least a dozen doors in the medina. They are each unique, and hide the private worlds of the locals, many of which do live and work in the medina, again.

The last 10-15 years showed a renewed interest in the medina, as foreigners, mostly Europeans, bought up the old riads and turned them into small boutique hotels or private residences. This brought the locals back as well.

Making lamps
Each lamp design is punched by hand through the brass. The soft, dappled light they make is magical and romantic! There is a whole area just devoted to metal work. One street for pots, one for lamps, etc.

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