As you land in Marrakech and get to Médina, you find yourself in a place which works by a specific set of rules. Traffic is dense and aggressive. Street plan reminds more of a labyrinth than an organized system. Forget maps. Getting lost turned out to be the best way to go.
Hot, dirty and smelly. A dynamic environment. Ever-present aroma of spices mix with stench evaporating from almost everywhere. Attractive and repulsive at the same time. All adds up to that exotic sense of an unknown place. Excitement builds up upon you.
Within the Médina life seems to happen right before your eyes. Children play in the streets, people work in public – manufacturers, merchants, service providers and hustlers chasing tourists. The locals observe as you pass by and every couple of seconds someone tries to make you the best deal of your life in hope of earning some dirhams.
The ugly lives right beside the beautiful. Architectural masterpieces of muslim and andalusian influences stand wonderfully among ramparts and unmaintained several-hundred years old residential buildings.
Food is wonderful and unique. Oily and spicy tajines with plums and raisins. Couscous. Fresh fruit and nuts. After proper research about restaurants and street food, you just can’t go wrong. As long as you do well with strong spices, it’s all fantastic.
Yves Saint Laurent loved the city. It inspired him throughout his life. When he died, his ashes were scattered in Jardine Majorelle which he owned since the 1980s. I can imagine Marrakech had a bit more remote and exotic feel back than. These days mass culture loom over but still, the city has real character offering treasures of this diversified culture.