Last year, I loved visiting Morocco. I fell thoroughly in love with the colors, the food and the architecture. I adored the people I met and the genuine hospitality. And all those street cats! I was pretty much over the moon with the street cats.
When I was looking for an exotic-locale equine workshop for April 2016, it made perfect sense to sign up for one in Morocco and that's how it turned out that exactly a year and a week after I made my first visit to Marrakech, I was back shopping in the souks again.
Just after I landed at Marrakech Menara Airport, I invited two new friends also attending the workshop to join me. We hailed a taxi outside of our hotel and drove to the Place Jemaa El Fna for a bit of fun. My goal was partly to stay awake till at least 9:00PM, which helps prevent jet lag after a long flight and seven hour time zone shift. Shopping the souks seemed like it would do the trick.
We first stopped for a fresh-squeezed orange juice and a few bottles of water, then headed into the maze of shops and people. This year, we shopped without a guide, which I had been too nervous to do last year. As we shopped, I realized that Moroccans love tourists and while I might get a bit lost, ultimately it was a safe place to be with many people advising us on where to go and the best way to quickly get there. Yes, a few held out their palms for money but most just wanted to talk to us, practice their English and ensure we were enjoying our trip to Morocco. The orange juice purveyor in the image on the right even invited me into his cart for a photo op!
We did amazingly well as we navigated our way through the narrow alleys. It was pretty cool when I recognized a doorway or shop that I'd photographed in 2015. We shopped a bit, buying sunglasses, scarves, Magic Moroccan Lipstick, and spices but mostly I took photographs like a mad woman. Perhaps I am a bit mad when it comes to photography. My camera is in my hand so often I've actually developed very painful arthritis in my thumb and wrist.
I could not get enough of the colors of all the goods on sale.
Or the colors of the beautiful local dress.
The light and shadow patterns at this section stopped me in my tracks.
The graceful, shadowed arches of this alley grabbed my attention too, and I stood in the middle of the traffic, annoying the drivers of the scooters as they zipped around me. I was probably taking my life in my hands as I stood there. The drivers shout Attention Madame, Attention but they never actually slowed down enough so that I could heed their warning...
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That evening, back at our hotel, I grabbed my Canon 5DIII again, with my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and wandered around shooting before dinner. The light was low and golden. Inside, it was even lower which makes the hotel look very romantic and quintessentially Moroccan. Frankly, it was just an average hotel, so I'm not going to share many details about it but I do love the images.