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Morocco: Marrakesh

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Marrakesh > Morocco > Africa

[Visited: August 1985]

My very first trip alone in my life was an Interrail tour of Europe. And since it was also valid in Morocco, and I am always attracted to going to the limit, I decided that it should anyway be a destination. Upon arrival by boat from Spain, I was soon beleaguered by a lot of Moroccan guys of my own age, who wanted to be my guide. In my then quite scarce travel experience, I had learnt to ignore those people. But I was alone, and I was soon fed up with the continued begging for being my guide

Picture of Marrakesh (Morocco): Taming snakes on Jma el Fna square - Marrakesh

So I decided to end the story by picking what seemed to be the most sympathetic person out of the crowd. Indeed, the endless pleas stopped. And the first time with this guy was not bad, I was introduced to some of his friends and family, and quite soon they told me that they would take me to a ritual fiesta in their village. I parked my luggage in their house and went with them to town to get some money. Then they asked me how much drugs I wanted to buy, to take back to Amsterdam. But when I told them that this had never been my intention, friendliness turned sour.

Picture of Marrakesh (Morocco): One of the main gates of Marrakesh

They asked me money for the two days of guiding (while they had wanted it to "practice their English"), and I managed to trade it down to half of the price they asked. When we boarded a very old car with a completely weird German as the driver, and went on our way to their home, I realized that I was in a very precarious situation. In fact, I felt relief when I finally walked out of their place, because it could have ended much worse. From that first experience on, I have always maintained a reasonable amount of suspicion to all kinds of offers. And I am sure that this suspicion has prevented other unwanted adventures from happening.

Picture of Marrakesh (Morocco): Minaret of Koutoubia mosque in Marrakesh

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Marrakesh (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Marrakesh.
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