23.10 – Saturday
We got on our bus to Marrakesh (late as usual) and hope the cards will be played better for us there. It was raining pretty much all the way, which wouldn’t be much of a problem if the stupid bus didn’t leak. In the end I got off with wet hair and Rhys’s jeans weren’t exactly dry either. Great start. We cought a petit taxi from the new town to the Jema el Fna. Payed 30DH (instead of 50, we were offered by some random driver, who was pretty much blocking the way out of the bus station). Being pretty proud of ourselves and of our increasing knowledge of how how of to get ripped off by Moroccan businessmen, we were very excited to see what Marrakesh has to offer. And one of the first things it did was massive rain! We had to hide under some tree whole everyone else run for shelter. The whole Jema el Fna disappeared within seconds. Anything that could protect you from the heavy rain would do. At first i thought it wouldn’t last long but when we realized our backpacks were getting soaked by the minute, we abandoned our tree and run further. We were almost wet to the bone anyway. After maybe 10 minutes the rain eased off a little and we were able to find our hostel. We chose hotel MIMOSA, recommended by my friend Maciek (peace!). Good, clean accommodation for 130DH is what we were pleased to find. Soon after everything was sorted we made our way to the heart of the city, the place where everyday so much happens.
Started our adventure of today with a glass of freshly squeezed juice – grapefruit, orange and lime. Oh my god, how amazing it tasted! Incredibly refreshing and so cheap. I don’t think I have ever had anything so tasty to drink. Not long after that we were drawn towards the food stalls. This was what Rhys was looking forward to. And the fun begun the minute we laid our eyes on the food. Everyone was trying to get our attention. Shouting, grabbing us by the arms, pressing the menus in the hands. “Have a look, have a look! It’s the best, the best!” As we tried to walk away they would screem the number of the stall they worked for. It was hard. After 10-15 minutes we realized it is not gonna get better, and all of it was pretty much the same anyway, so we settled for the nearest stall filled with people eating (usually a good sign!).
Before we realized what was actually happening, or what was even on the menu, the food started arriving in front of us. Unfortunately it wasn’t as great as the whole buzz and the very specific atmosphere of the square. The bread was quite stale and olives with a sauce, ordinary. Moroccan salad was ok. The highlight of the night was definitely my fried aubergine – crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The couscous i had wasn’t so bad either (big portion!) although the chicken was a bit too dry for our liking. Rhys’s choices failed again. Mixed skewers were very ordinary and to our surprise, the most expensive. His fried squid was bland and very chewy… All in all – thumbs down, especially considering the prices. Olives and aubergine 10DH, bread and sauce 10DH, couscous 30DH, small mixed skewers 70DH (!), chewy squid 30DH – together 150DH. And as expected they tried to cheat on us and expected 170, but we have learned the tricks a bit so far. No tips for the ones who can’t be decent enough to charge the right price.
P.S. Already looking forward to drinking orange juice tomorrow!