on not smoking marijuana in marrakech
On the outside of the medina in Marrakech, whispered offers of marijuana are common. Caucasian. ExOfficio clothing. A tourist, obviously. Looking like money. Maybe for adventure. For an illegal smoke. I ignored them.
I had flown from Paris to Marrakech for a week’s stay. My three month visa was soon to expire, and I did not want to fly back to the USA. I flew instead to Morocco for a short vacation. With my passport stamped in Morocco, I could fly back to France for another stay of three months.
The Marrakech airport is modern, open, small, and efficiently run. The bus from the airport to the bus terminal near the medina, which is about 5km, runs regularly every 30 minutes. The driver gave me a small map.
I stayed at the Hotel Ali, across from the central plaza where the buses stopped routinely, and near the medina (old quarter) and Djemaa el-Fna, the square and market place, designated by UNESCO as a part of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. (Click on a photo to see more.)
From the roof of the hotel during the sunset, I could see the medina and its covered souqs and Djemaa el-Fna and beyond. Not long after I had left, a blast at a cafe, popular with tourists, killed 17 and injured another 25.
The medina and its covered souqs are the reasons for most tourists to visit Marrakech. When I meandered there, I took a compass with me. The passages are not marked well, it is easy to become lost in the maze, and so many items can catch your attention and you are soon wandering away from the main path and are lost. (Click on a photo to see more.)
Wandering outside of the medina one sees cars, buses and bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles move together through the streets. (Click on a photo to see more.)
Another strong draw in Marrakech is the Koutoubia Mosque. Standing 77 meters with spire and orbs, it was completed in the 12th century. A short walk from the Djemaa el-Fna, maybe 200 meters, it makes for another wonderful site to visit that is not far from the Hotel Ali.