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Although I didn’t go to sleep at a decent hour the night before, I woke up early so that I could get breakfast and visit some of the touristic places since I was on my own and without a CouchSurfing host. My Riad was very close to most places and on certain occasions I walked, but when I was uncertain of where I was going, I hopped into a taxi. Catching the taxi has been one of the most stressful and painstaking tasks since coming to Morocco. I did read beforehand that I should negotiate the price of the cab before entering the taxi or ensure the driver uses the meter if he has one. I did these things on all occasions. However, negotiating on a price for a short distance was tiresome. This was the one time where the little bit of Arabic I remembered was useful. When I was offered a price in English, such as 50DHM, I would shake my head, chuckle and respond “La. Humsa wa Ashreen” or “La. Ashreen” (No! 25 or 20 dhm). I never offered more than this as the bus ride from the airport to my hotel was only 30dhm one way and this was a much further distance than any place I intended to travel to whilst in Marrakesh.

That Sunday, I choose to visit two palaces – Palace Bahia and The Badia Palace. The Badia Palace was relatively uninteresting. Walking amongst the ruins, I could see the opulence which once was, but for the most part, it was nothing but an old, broke down palace. I walked around the ruins which were akin to some of the great ruins in Greece; a bunch of rocks. Although nothing spectacular, the trip to the palace proved amusing as I was extended a marriage proposal from a man old enough to be my great grandfather.

Morocco: Day 2 - Broke Down Palace(s)
My future husband!

At one point I began chit-chatting with some security guards (in English) at the palace. They began talking about me in Arabic (saying that I was beautiful) and then I responded in Arabic “Shukran”. Needless to say, it threw them off a bit.
I also visited the Bahia Palace which proved much more spectacular and interesting. I am not exactly sure what either of these palaces were used for or who lived in them once upon a time, but this palace was colorful. The walls, ceilings, and entryways were adorned with beautiful arabesque paintings and central to the palace was the beautiful garden with a small fountain.

I decided that I had enough touring for the day and grabbed lunch out on square close to both palaces before heading back to my Riad. Before I choose where I would eat, I exchanged pleasantries with some young Moroccan men. They asked me if I was Moroccan and insisted I could be Moroccan before I told them “No, American”. I doubt that they thought I was Moroccan, but rather wanted to make me feel more welcome so that I could choose their particular table to dine.
Once back to my Riad, I attempted to take a nap, but to no avail. Unable to get in touch with my other CouchSurfing host, I decided to meet up with JB again. We meet in the same place as the previous day, but headed in a different direction. I found myself in another part of the busy Souks, a part that catered less to tourists, but for the locals. With everything removed from my pockets and zipped securely in my purse, we squeezed through the crowd and I mean squeeze. I don’t believe I have ever been so jammed pack with so many people before. Babies were literally swallowed in the crowd. If you are claustrophobic then this is not the place for you. As we walked through the crowd, I saw loose hands literally making their way up and down people’s body in an attempt to collect some loose items from unsuspecting passerby’s. In addition to the massive crowd of people, we also had to dodge carts and motorbikes which insisted on passing through the mass. Once we got through the traffic jam, we enjoyed some smoothies from a storefront shop and made our way to a lovely café owned by a French woman. The cafe reminded me of a coffee shop I would see in London, Madrid, or Spain – very quaint, hip, and full of non –locals. Whilst there, I decided to sit outside, brave the fumes from the vehicles and observe life on the streets of Morocco. The night ended relatively early as I needed to prepare for the next few days in Casablanca.

About danismelange

I enjoy writing for fun, reading, traveling, and meeting new people. I'm a mother, sister, auntie, and friend. I write what comes to my mind - its unpretentious, honest, and straight from my heart!

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