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Marrakech

The most famous of the four imperial cities‚ Marrakesh is a must. It has been called the red city and the desert pearl; it links north and south and is the gateway to the Atlas Mountains and behind them the desert. 

Marrakesh is a gem of a city‚ clasped in its setting of palm groves‚ protected by encircling ochre walls‚ ravishing in the liquid orange light of sunset.

The monuments are the work of centuries‚ the minaret of the Koutoubia‚ the Badia palace‚ the Bahia palace‚ the Merdersa ben Youssef‚ the tombs of the Saadian Kings‚ the Museum of Marrakesh‚ the Kouba of the Almoravides and many more wonders for the visitor to marvel at while beginning to understand a little more of this mysterious and captivating city.

The famous Jemaa El Fna Square is a shock to the system. It has been given World Oral heritage status by UNESCO‚ it is the social centre of Marrakesh and an enormous open-air theatre. Here there are mountebanks of all kinds‚ jugglers‚ snake charmers‚ monkey tamers‚ story-tellers‚ musicians‚ and hundreds of stalls selling dates - the symbol of hospitality and prosperity and a vital ingredient of Moroccan cuisine. 

There are stalls selling dried fruits and nuts‚ freshly squeezed orange juice‚ soup (including the famous harira used to break the fast every evening in Ramadan.) grilled meats‚ salads... Altogether an overwhelming assault on the senses.

Just behind the Square is the maze of alleyways and dead-ends that make up the medina and the souk - lose yourself as you stroll among them‚ bewitched by the aromas‚ flavours‚ sounds and colours.


 

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