Short update today, because it’s after midnight (HAPPY NEW YEAR!) and we have an early start tomorrow.
Perhaps most amusingly, our guide gave us all Moroccan nicknames. Everyone got pretty ones meaning things like queen and born on an important day, and then he gets to me. “La-bee-ah.” Labiabwith a slightly different pronunciation. Yup. He says it means something along the lines of “woman who visits small villages and makes carpets” and I’m not about to Google anything even close to Moroccan labia so…I’m going by either Claire or Bia. Hopefully it’s at least spelled differently.
This morning we took a tour of some historically important locations in Marrkesh: the Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, and Bahia Palace, ending in Djemaa El-fna, where a man in the square promptly attempted conning Joe into almost holding a monkey in a diaper. For money, of course. There were also snake charmers. Definitely an interesting place, but you have to look like you’re on a mission and know what you’re doing or else you’ll be hassled (I use that term loosely) by people trying to make a buck off the tourists (well, a dirham I suppose.)
Oh! And would it really be a guided tour in a foreign country without a stop in a shop or two where the guide clearly gets commission for any purchases made?! We were lucky enough to be stuck listening to a schpeal about argan oil – all products made by women who essentially were negatively effected by divorce (there’s a word I can’t think of that they used. You get the idea.) Then we were basically closed into a souvenir shop where we all felt super awkward and made it clear we had no plans of purchasing anything. Ah, travel.
After wandering the souks for a new wardrobe for the Australian in our group (her luggage got lost,) we had a prix-fixe New Year’s Eve dinner with SO much delicious food. It was too cold to actually be on the rooftop, but took a quick look out there afterwards – lots of people in the square, presumably getting ready to celebrate?
We made our way back to our hotel and went across the street, hoping that the posh, European looking café would have a bottle of wine we could share before heading to bed. Despite what the online menu said, we had no such luck and drank virgin mojitos and coladas before heading back to our hotel’s bar to split a 110 Dirham ($11) bottle of wine!
Wifi will be spotty (or perhaps non-existent) for the next 4 or so days, but I’ll post another update when I can 🙂
Happy New Year!
(Also it is now 1am. Oops. Luckily I have 7 hours to sleep in the car tomorrow.)