Marrakech - Djamaa El FNA contd'
There are few people who will solicite and ask you if you want them to take a picture for you, and if you want to take picture of those water-men, snake charmers, prepare to pay them a small change ( around 10 dirham). There are 2,3 restaurants that will give you the panoramic view of the square. Argana, Le restaurant Panoramique.
Djema el Fnaa Square (Marrakesh)
Djemaa el Fnaa square in Marrakesh is one of the most interesting gathering points in Africa, the real social centre of the town, a place where you never get bored. Here?s a complete day schedule there:
7:00 am At Mic Mac Bakery (by the Post Office) or at the many cafes in the Bab Agnaou Street (a pedestrian street) you can have an early breakfast.
9:00 am The first performers arrive: fortune tellers, orange juice sellers, henna women... Cross the Square to the Argana Cafe and have a mint tea at the terrace.
10:00 am Enter the Municipal Market to see the rush in this moroccan food market, buy some oranges (real cheap).
11-13:00 Have an orange juice at one of the many stalls around (2,50 Dh). Wander around the souks, entering via the Souk Semmarine Street, the main long covered street of the the souks. If you get lost (you will!), ask for the Djema el Fnaa Square, or just take a taxi back...
13:30 Lunch at a terrace (shade required), for instance in Cafe de France or at the Residence de la Place, with a nice view of the Square at noon.
15-18:00 Back to the souks, bargain and wander.
18:30 Take a ride in a Horse-drawn carriage now that the sun is down.
19:00 The sunset is one of the main shows in Djema el Fnaa. The terraces (Cafe Glacier, Argana, Cafe de France...) get really crowded at 19, so go there in advance to take a place. The main performers start moving around, the square gets at its best!!
20:00 The many food stalls in the center of the square are a wonderful animated place for dinner.
21:00 to midnight Walk around the square, look at the performers, bargain with the berbers that come to seel their goods at night. Relax and have a Mint Tea at one of the terraces, enjoy the show!!
Inexpensive gifts and souvenirs
We're not very good at bargaining and probably overpaid in some cases, but we paid what we felt was fair. Here are some shopping ideas:
Essaouira: small thuja wood boxes
Tamri: honey, argana products at a bright store on the right as you approach the town from the west.
Draa Valley : freshly harvested dates (Sept.)
Dades Valley: rosewater products
Marrakech Artisanal Co-op:
Brightly coloured babouches (slippers)
Long Vivid scarves. sequinned triangle head scarves
Mirror with brass frame
Short lightweight kaftan-like shirts
Large Safi bowl Send me a message if you have specific questions about costs.
Some of the restaurants will stop serving lunch after 3:00pm. They will start serve dinner around 6:00pm. Argana restaurant in Marrakech ( Djamaa El FNA square)is one of them.
Main cities - English - Part 1
"Day 1 - Lyons / St Exupéry Airport"
Pea soup… The plane we were supposed to board in Lyon was rerouted to Clermont-Ferrand… Air France (AF) gave us a free drink. I had a coke--not even cold… it’s 11am and still no news.
12pm: I just finished my AF sandwich: 2 extra-thin cheese slices. Definitely a bad omen for the rest of the trip…
12:50pm: The bad news just came in: our flight has been cancelled!
Air France paid for a meal at the airport restaurant “Le Bouchon” : Cafeteria-style fine dining at its best! Then suddenly during the meal, the « Ouarzazate » group (45 persons on the flight to Casablanca who, like us, had a connection for Marrakech – out of these 45, 43 were a tour group going to Ouarzazate from Marrakech) gets up and ask us to folllow them… despite our doubts, we decided to take action and went along.
Apparently Air France has found us another flight…from Geneva, forcing us to run to the bus parked outside the terminal, only to find military police blocking access to the bus due to a bomb scare because someone left a bag unattended…
15:30pm: On the road to Geneva: a 2-hour journey so it means we have just 20 minutes to catch our flight… We will make it in time?
17:30pm: Arrival at Geneva Airport, the « Ouarzazate » group was expected, but we were not! We went to the Royal Air Maroc (RAM) office, where the RAM representative told us that we could check-in but that we’d be on standby for the flight to Casa.
Boarding: no seats for us on the flight because it is already full and priority has been given to the « Ouarzazate » group… Back to the RAM office after reclaiming our luggage. We had 2 solutions:
-Sleep in Geneva and take the flight (not until tomorrow night) we were unable to board today
-Go back to Lyon Airport, sleep in Lyon and take the same flight tomorrow morning that we were supposed to board this morning, but that was cancelled
Eventually after arguing with RAM and AF (our tickets were RAM tickets but the plane was a code-share between RAM and AF and the plane and crew belonged to AF…), AF will pay for the taxi to Lyon Airport and for the hotel room in Lyon.
12am: Arrival at Lyon Airport where an AF representative gave us a voucher for the Kyriad hotel. Check in at the hotel, where we requested a wake-up call at 8am.
"Day 2 – Lyon / St Exupéry Airport"
08:10am: Our travel clock woke us up… the hotel wake up call never came! If we hadn’t had our clock we definitely would have overslept therefore missing our plane… when bad luck strikes…
Here we go, we are finally on the plane to Morocco!!!
1pm: Waiting at Casablanca airport for our flight to Marrakech. Great weather: morale is good!
5:30pm: On the road between Marrakech ad Essaouira, our final destination. Getting out of Marrakech in the rental car was no piece of cake: dozens of suicidal scooters, bikes and pedestrians coming out of nowhere seemed be attracted to the car like magnets.
Arrival in Essaouira’s Bab Marrakech gate: the parking lot “attendant” greeted us and sent a scout with us to find our hotel: which turned out to be a good idea because without a guide we wouldn’t have been able to find it! We are not yet accustomed to the maze-like succession of streets and alleyways of Morocco’s medinas…
"Day 3 - Essaouira"
7:30pm: Yesterday evening after dinner, we slept in our clothes due to a lack of heat in the hotel… nevertheless we had a good night. This morning we had an early start at 7am because we forgot to change our alarm clock settings: it was still on the French time zone one hour ahead. Today’s goals: visit Essaouira and its city walls, return our rental car and buy bus tickets to go back to Marrakech tomorrow.
12pm: After buying our bus tickets at the Supratours, office and taking a walk in the old town, it’s lunch time. Shish kebab: tasty and cheap!
3pm: Break at the hotel, waiting for Avis rep. who is supposed to take our car back to Marrakech.
5pm: After the Avis rep. came, we went to the harbor fortress to take a picture of the sunset reflecting on Essaouira’s walls (for 10 Dh/pers, approx. US$1, you get inside the fortress. It’s worth it!).
8pm: We had a succulent dinner of couscous followed by hot mint tea, the first but by no means the last of this trip… A very good day in Essaouira, tomorrow we’ll leave for Marrakech; we’ll have to wake up at 5am to catch the early bus. That’s what you call an early start!
"Day 4 – Marrakech"
9am: Breakfast on the square in front of the Koutoubia: the view of the minaret is really great!
10:30am: Break at the Gallia. , on the terrace. The hot Marrakech sun warmed us up, what a city! Just 4 days in Marrakech, but what a place!
2:30pm: After leaving the hotel, and having lunch at Chegrouni , a good and cheap restaurant, we went to the Majorelle gardens in the new town. If you’re looking for a quiet, refreshing, and refined place, this is it!
After the Majorelle gardens, we walked back toward Djemaa El Fna. Square mettre lien vers TIP),. On the way back, we visited the handicraft center, you never know what treasures you might find…
We decided that tonight we will be focus on Djemaa El Fna square. Earlier this morning we had a preview of what to expect on the square: snake charmers!
"Day 5 – Marrakech"
12pm: This morning we explored the souqs (markets) and made our first purchase: babouches (Moroccan mule-type shoes)! We also saw the dyers’ souq and the Koranic school Ben Youssef Madrassa.
We visited the Dar Si Said Museum whose main focus is traditional wooden handicrafts (furniture and other objects). The collections and setting make it well worth a visit.
4 pm: We finally found the Tiskiwin House , a museum presenting handicrafts from Marrakech and the region. We knocked and waited at the locked door to the house for quite a while before finally being let in. A little patience and persistence really pay off here!
5:30 pm: Sitting on the terrace of the Argana restaurant overlooking Djemaa El Fna square. The vendors are just beginning to arrive to set up their food stands. After the Tiskiwin house, we took a stroll around the medina. After turning back and going down several dead-end streets, a little girl (for a few dihrams, of course) showed us the way to the Riad Tamsa, an elegant tea room that also hosts art exhibitions. The refined, minimalist décor really is worth a look. From the terrace, there is a great view of the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas mountains, but unfortunately photography is not allowed for some reason.
The view from the Argana’s terrace is just as fascinating, though. In the foreground are the wandering musicians and food stands set off against a backdrop of the Koutoubia and the Atlas mountains in the distance. Despite the reigning chaos, we managed to relax and plan the next leg of our trip.
8:30 pm.: Dinner at one of the food stands on the square. What a ripoff! We were charged at least 3 times the prices listed. Make sure you check the bill and don’t be afraid to speak up if it’s inflated!
Restaurant Argana (at night)
Hotel Kerdous ahead
Postoffice designed by Jean-Francois Zevaco
Gnaoua art: beach and kasbah hill of Agadir
We were in Agadir in 2003, and we meet a taxidriver (he told us to call him bobo because his name was difficult to say) Bobos taxi was white, and he have 2 sons. He was verry good at English - and were verry freindly.
Our problem is that we don´t have his email, and we are going on a seacruse in december to Agadir.
Can anyone help with the email?
Re: Wanted taxidriver!
Not again! You are barking up the wrong tree and I suggest you give it up.
Re: Wanted taxidriver!
this is just like the other post ( wanted song). there are 1000...drivers allmost of them do not use emails just cells .
ask your hotel where you stayed the night in agadir or if you have the taxi number then will be easy to catch him...
if you don't then accept Jhon's advice 'give up'.
best of luck
Re: Wanted taxidriver!
I just want to tell what hapend, if someone find this tread.
The taxi-driver is called: bouchaib jakanti and his email is jakanti.bouchaib at caramail.com (found the mail on a swedish site)
We had an wonderfull trip in the atlas mountains. So if you are going to Agadir - then send him a mail, and be sure to have an amasing trip.
Emil from Denmark