The taxi driver in Marrakech dropped us off at a funny little street at the edge of the medina. Because the roads are so small, taxis can’t fit inside, so you always get dropped off at the little alley closest to your hotel. We wandered back and forth through the maze like alley until we realized we must have passed our hotel. We were a little turned around, and trying to pretend we weren’t because the moment you look lost, someone offers to take you to a hotel – for a steep price. We gave up pretending and decided we needed someone. The second we took out a map, a guy ran up to us and asked us where we needed to go. He took us back in the direction we came, but then took us into a hotel which was not the one was asked for. Kristy said that it wasn’t the right hotel, but he said not to look at the name...
When we got inside the hotel the man leading us and the guy at the front desk got into a little scuffle. They were yelling and we were wishing we spoke Arabic. The problem was that in Morocco, a male and a female aren’t allowed to rent a room together unless they are married, or foreign. The man at the front desk thought Nathan was Moroccan and thus wanted us out of the hotel immediately. When he realized we were both Canadian, all was well. The hotel turned out to be beautiful, with a HUGE, luxurious bathtub, and most importantly, nice and cool. We got a fairly good “student” price (they always call the price you talk them down to the student price). The rooftop had a Berber tent and free tea.
The middle of old Marrakech centers around a plaza that fills with food and orange juice stalls, nuts and dried fruit carts, snake charmers, monkey handlers, and other touts. We wandered around trying to look at things without seeming too interested, but soon enough we had snakes around our necks, kissing them for good luck, and paying to take pictures. We watched a monkey that had gotten off his leash be chased by his owner, taunting him all the while, until the owner finally caught him again. We tried some of the delicious freshly squeezed orange juice. There are about 50 different stalls and each stall tries to tell you that they are the best. We liked stall 38. We also wandered through the central market looking for gifts for our siblings, bartering like mad, and trying to avoid the smelly fish stalls.
The weather was so hot in Marrakech that we spent most of the day in the cool of our hotel room sleeping. It was between 40 and 45 degrees every day but when you are in the middle of a city with tiny streets, it feels even worse. We made plans to head to the beach next. However, these plans were thwarted by bus troubles, and we ended up spending our last day in Marrakech in the huge, beautiful and air conditioned train station eating McDonalds (a delicious McArabia... seriously...) until we could catch a train.