Motorbikes and Meat in the Mediterranean



Africa correspondent

Morocco is a beautiful country in northwest Africa, officially called the Kingdom of Morocco. It is one of three countries to have a coast on both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. It has been conquered by many different nations in the past two thousand years, including the Roman Empire, Byzantine Greeks, and Visigoths. In 7th Century B.C. Arabic peoples migrated there, where their civilization and religion thrived. France was one of the nations that took interest because of its strategic location and in 1904 it was officially considered part of Frances area of influence. To this day the most widely used language is French. The Kingdom of Morocco gained independence on March 2nd 1956.

The country has a rich history, and the ancient cities of Morocco reflect that. The architecture is unmistakably Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. Arguably the most well known city is Marrakech, due to the internationally known Marrakech market. The market is a chaotic series of streets leading to a city square packed with food kiosks. The streets leading into the square are choked full of stores selling everything from women’s lingerie to meat. As you near the square, the air changes from the thick diesel fumes old motorbikes emit to an array of different spices and Mediterranean foods. The market is famous for it’s high energy and the charismatic vendors trying to lure in tourists. The market has everything from snake charmers to acrobats and is surely a unique place that offers an experience not found anywhere else.

Staying in Marrakech would traditionally entail hunkering down in a Riad. Riad comes from the Arabic term for “garden”, the homes have a central garden with all rooms facing into it. The design came from the Islamic ideals of privacy for women. Marrakech and Morocco as a whole have developed a thriving tourism industry, which has in turn has prompted many newer hotels to spring up. Instead of trying to distinguish unmarked doors to find your Riad, you can simply check into one of the many luxurious hotels.

If you happen to be in Syria or Afghanistan and grow tired of the war-torn atmosphere, or even if you live in Canada and the dull winter is getting to you, take a trip to Marrakech and hangout with a snake charmer. It’s got to be better than whatever you’re doing right now.