Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Exploring the Souk/Marrakech & Fes


A walk through the souks is an amazing journey. You will see anything and everything for sale.
Here our guide Idriss was showing us what made the best quality of rosebuds, which are used to make rosewater. Rosewater is often used in Moroccan and North African cuisine.
Dried rosebuds are sold by the kilo.
Here is a shop selling fancy caftans. Moroccan women wear caftans at home and when they leave the house, they put on a djellaba, or long robe, to cover their caftans. These caftans must be for parties or festivals, as they are very special.
This is a shop that rents out fancy lanterns, and other decorations used for parties and weddings. Just like in the States, you can go to the "party rental" shop and pick out what you might need to host a large gathering and then rent it instead of having to purchase it.
These very large cooking and/or serving vessels would also be rented for your function.
Because the streets are so very narrow in the souks, donkeys and sometimes mules, are used to transport goods and construction materials. In some places you might come across six or eight donkeys and their owners all congregated in one spot. This is the place you would go to hire them for transporting whatever you needed brought into the Medina or taken out.
This shop sold many kinds of olives. Some were simply brined but others were spiced or mixed with vegetables and made into delicious salads.
Here we have snails for sale. I was told that the Moroccans make a delicious soup from snails. I'm sorry I didn't get to try it for myself. (I love escargot!)
A tray of sheep heads for sale.... Don't ask. I don't know.
Here we have more items you might rent for a large function. There are incense burners, and I believe, rosewater dispensers shown here. There are some very fancy things for rent in the souks!
Traditional clay tajines are in the foreground and a silver something in the back. It might be one of the transport devices for brides, who are carried into the wedding in very fancy palanquins such as these.
A very impressive door. The leaf shaped hinge is actually a free-form interpretation of the Hand of Fatima (a good luck symbol seen all over the Maghreb).
Look closely and you'll see a silver bathtub. Man, would I love to have that in my house! It would have been tricky to pack, though, so I had to leave it there.
Kitty napping on the seat of a motor bike in one of the alleys in the souk.
The lantern and light shop. Nonie and I used this shop as a sort of marker on our walks through the Marrakech souk. When we got to this shop we knew exactly where we were and which way we had to go to get back to Dar Seven. And, finally, the Tassel Shop. You can buy tassels in all colors and all sizes, in silk and less luxe materials. There are fat tassels and skinny tassels, tassels for the hood of your djellaba, tassels for the handles of your cabinets, tassels for menus in restaurants, tassels for decoration and tassels for a hundred other uses. I have never seen so many tassels in my life. I only wish I had been able to think of a good use for a tassel so I could have bought one!

2 comments:

Jennie Unger Eddy said...

Mom, your photos continue to blow my mind. They are stunning. Simply stunning.

I don't know what I would do with tassels. I guess they aren't so trendy in the states!

Paula McNamee said...

Thanks for sharing photos of your trip- now I want to visit Morocco!