On our first trip to the African continent, André and I were prepared to be surprised around every corner. The only thing we knew was that we did not know what to expect! And really, on reaching Marrakesh and crossing the Jemaa el Fna, we were confronted with a vision and feeling totally different from what we had experienced so far.
After having been surprised by the different construction, organization and culture as soon as Marrakesh arrives, it is here that the city rises up to us and makes us feel like we are in an authentic movie of the Thousand and One Nights!
To get to the Riad where we stayed we had to pass through here. But it was not the suitcases we were carrying, nor the heat that at midday here makes us feel that they stopped us from stopping countless times on this route so that we could better observe the enchanted serpents, the restaurant employees with a sense of humor to " another possible customer!
Jemaa el Fna charmed us soon. Everything was a real surprise to us. We wanted to see everything and feel everything that place had to offer us.
Towards the end of the day, when we returned, we realized that the square, despite having the same protagonists, had changed completely. The warm tones of the end of the day awakened other senses. Now we saw the smoke coming out of the restaurants, we saw the lamp lights that countless vendors tried to negotiate with the hundreds of tourists brought to Marrakech that November. The sounds of Berber music seemed to rise as the sun came down. There was magic.
We walked around the square for hours without thinking too much about the direction. We were invited to sit on the floor with other tourists and watch a music and theater show (of course, all for later a coin), we enjoyed a unique natural orange juice and were impressed to see the Henna tattoo artists dedicated to her art.
We were in a totally unfamiliar place unlike anything we had ever known. A nervous little boy ran about us; involved in a vibrant and full of personality we could not help but feel like characters on that stage - undoubtedly one of the most charismatic stages in the world.
Jemaa el Fna is a place full of soul that perfectly captures the Moroccan spirit. It is here that we can live and feel the whole culture of this people, going to meet storytellers, snake charmers, healers, henna tattooists and all kinds of street artists.
Read our other suggestions of places to visit in Marrakesh here!