Runnin’ fools – the Marrakech Marathon, Marrakech, Morocco. 2013

DJ Cassiouss at Jemma el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco. 2012

A quick grab of a DJ Cassiouss CD in Jemma el Fnaa, Marrakech, Morocco.  The image shows one of the ubiquitous “music stores” across the medina – they’ve got everything, so long as you’re looking for what they’ve got.  Gnawa and dance mixes for days.  The salesmen will pop your selections into their CD player to show you that it works and you’re off.

Another evening with my friends at Jemaa el Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco, 2012.

A recent visit to Marrakech reunited with me with some of my (new) oldest friends – the street performers, henna artists, restaurant promoters and orange-juice squeezers of Jemma el Fnaa.  Having been to Jemma el Fnaa numerous times, I know what to expect and how to react to the vibe of the place, which often borders on sheer craziness.  First time visitors to Jemma el Fnaa should arrive prepared and in the right mind state in order to avoid anxiety, overload or a total freakout. Yeah.  A total freakout. Any visit to Marrakech – unless you’ve been a few times…

This definitely isn’t Wegmans, pt. II – a trip into the medina, Fes, Morocco.

As I mentioned earlier, VR, WFD, JBG and I made a trip up to Fes for a weekend and scheduled a cooking class.  Fatima, our ace cooking instructor, lead us on a fantastic shopping tour of the medina and then brought us back to her kitchen in Batha, a neighborhood within the Fes medina. The cooking?  Epic.  Fatima was a total pro, prepping about eight dishes and assigning responsibilities to the four of us to insure that the meal was finished all at the same time.  Beyond her incredible organizational skills, I must point out that her cooking, err, our…

Guarab in the medina – Rabat, Morocco

I recently went to part of the Rabat medina slightly out of my normal trajectory.  I usually take visitors to Rue des Consuls, though an emergency phyllo dough purchase sent us towards the section of the medina closer to Bab el Had, a section of the medina that is far less sanitized for mass ingestion by tourists. In short, it was fantastic.  I haven’t been  to that section of the medina for a few months and was much more interested in it now that we have lived here for almost half of a year.

This definitely isn’t Wegmans – a trip into the medina, Fes, Morocco.

V and I recently played hosts to WFD and JBG, two guests yearning for distinctly different experiences in Morocco and with vastly different approaches to travel.  The four of us drove to Fes for a weekend of cooking, shopping and enjoying the craziness of the medina.  WFD and I ran off to the Fes medina during his last visit and ripped through it over the course of a day; we left completely spent with barely enough energy to perform the customary post-mortem on the day’s photographs. V had planned a cooking lesson for the four of us as the center…

Another quick one from FES!

We were treated with a quick tour of what was described as being the most well-respected and expensive Moroccan and Berber rug showroom in the entire country. The owners were beyond nice despite knowing that I am a few winning lottery tickets away from being able to afford any of their wares. A boy can dream, right?

FES!

V and I recently ran off to Fes for a quick weekend before our visitors start pouring in.  Three days in Fes is nowhere near enough time to spend getting to know the city – we only scratched the surface of what the amazingly complex city has to offer.  Specifically, Fes is split over three separate parts.  The old city – Fes el Bali – contains the medina and much of the historic offerings of the city.  The new city – Fes Jdid – has a totally different feeling than the old city, as does Ville Nouvelle, the modern French…