…. back on my first full day in Marrakech and on my 8-hour private guided tour. After Bahia Palace was I taken to a carpet cooperative, in hope of course that I would buy a carpet with me home. I told Abd El, my guide that I wasn’t going to buy a carpet if they don’t have any flying (magic) carpets.
Walk through the souks .. we arrive at a carpet palace, I would call it … never seen so many carpets in my life and one more beautiful than the other. A very nice man (the boss man, I think) took care of me – gave my a mineral water and start to show me carpets and it didn’t matter that I told them that I’m not a need of a carpet.
He explained to me that all the carpets were made by women sitting at home or out in the desert waving the carpets, the patterns shows what “tribe” they belong too.
After a big carpet catwalk .. I really fell in love with a beautiful carpet made from cactus silk. Not really a carpet in my book, more like a bedspread .. och quilt. Far too soft to be laying still on a wooden flooring. The carpet I could wash in the machine on 40C.
To sent to me in Sweden the total cost would have been, 32.000SEK/33480€/2915£/3555$. Told him that I can afford to spend so much money on a carpet when I don’t need one. I said for that price is has to be able to fly.
Then he told me to write down on a paper how much I would pay for the carpet – I said that it would be an insult both to the carpet and it’s maker. I wrote down 2.500SEK. He agreed with me … and we were wheeling and dealing. Before I left he was willing to give it to me for 3.500SEK/37€/£32/39$ – then I asked him if that must be without the Turbo-charge, but he didn’t understand that joke.
I ask if could take a photo of him, but he told me that if I want a photo of him that will mean that we have a deal regarding the carpet. So I thank him and his staff for a very a joyful hour .. and left without a carpet.
So my guide didn’t get any commission. Sorry!
After the carpet business was it time for lunch … and I was taken through the souks again and in all small narrow streets – to a beautiful riad (guesthouse), Riad Haraka– where they were expecting me for lunch. Abd El was not allowed to eat with me .. he went somewhere else. Got a lovely tomato salad as a starter followed by a fantastic chicken tagine, great freshly baked bread .. and for dessert, I got fresh fruit salad. Lunch was included in the tour price.
I met a fantastic family .. that was staying at the riad … the father he was so funny and charming and .. his wife and their 2 children so lovely. They were waiting for more relatives to turn up during the day and they the was going to spend Christmas together out in the desert. What a man … would love one of the same brand.
The owner of the riad was a young Swizz lady .. that of course had fallen in love with a Moroccan man and left well organised and super clean Switzerland for Marrakech. She told me that it was a massive culture shock, even if she had been visiting a couple of time before she moved – but she loves it and now they own a riad and have 2 small children. Such pleasant young lady.
On the way to and from my lunch, I took I let Oscar enjoy himself. To take photos of women isn’t really allowed and they get very upset – because their face belongs to them .. and nobody else. I only took one photo of a bread selling lady, but then I didn’t know … and she didn’t notice me.
The souks I didn’t really visit at all on my own … was so afraid to get lost and anyhow I wasn’t going to buy anything with me home. Now I regret that I didn’t buy a tagine .. but that I could buy anywhere. Next time. Abd El told me that there works 100.000 people in the Marrakech souks .. sounds a lot to me .. it live 900.000 total in Marraech, but … there is loads of shop and people trying to sell you something, you don’t need … but just have to have.
Abd El also took me to the most beautiful spice and herb place -a fantastic shop, Herboristerie du Paradis, located by the Marrakech museum and Medersa Ben Youssef. There I got a bit lost in all the colours and fragrances from all the dried flowers, herbs, colourings, oils and creams. Spend 60€, full price .. not good on haggling.
After lunch was it time to visit Jardin Majorelle, YSL’s beautiful Marrakesh home and garden… which I already have done a post about: the most beautiful shade of blue – jardin majorelle. So beautiful that I returned a couple of days later and gave me myself a couple of hours there.
“It’s easier to put on slippers
than to carpet the whole world.”