In the early hours of the morning Jemaa el-Fnaa in Marrakesh looks quiet and empty. All the rush and colours of the evening disappear, leaving the square open to random visitors. A few pigeons flew away as we crossed the square. Until then not bothered by few locals gathered in the middle, sitting comfortable on the ground, enjoying the sunny morning. The mighty tower of Koutoubia Mosque was rising slowly, painted in gold by the waking sun.
I felt tired, not interested, dreaming about a bed, in which I could actually sleep, not surrounded by loud snoring of others and not listening to the wind violently jerking the Berber’s tent.My night at the desert was uncomfortable sleepless, my butt felt sore and I could not think or imagine a place where the sand was not getting into. After spending one day in the car to get to Zagora, hoping all the way to arrive in one piece, desperately holding my suitcase while riding on a camel and trying to remove my contact lenses without getting sand in my eyes, I was not up for doing anything. But since I was not planning on coming back here, I dragged my sorry ass out of the car and went for a walk with our little group.
The alarm on my phone rung at 6. I was not asleep for at least half an hour, woken up by my growing excitement. After all we were going to visit the desert today – even more, we were going to spend the night on the desert, with the Berbers, in the tents! My head was filled with pictures of enormous dunes, caravans of camels negotiating their way under the hot sun and a few colourful Berber’s tents, sitting in the middle of nowhere.
I longed for the sun so I quickly made my way up, to the top of the Museum of Photography in Marrakesh. I wanted to sit on a terrace, bathed in the yellowish afternoon. It was our first day in Morocco, our first encounter with Moroccan cuisine and famous mint tea. The terrace was filled with people patiently waiting for the waiter’s attention and we joined in with our stomachs rumbling with hunger. From the top of the building we could admire the roofs of the town, stretching out on every side, up to the horizon and beyond.
The construction of the building created a white well, with rooms concealed away. The balconies, surrounding each floor, enabled a visitor to move around and explore the space hidden behind white curtains. You could look into the eyes of the people of Africa without a shadow of embarrassment. Fish out an extraordinary story. Track down the wind of the desert in the delicate hooves of a camel. Compare the ancient roofs of Marrakesh souks, immortalised in the black and white pictures, with the reality outside.
A few days ago I came back from Morocco. I could hardly wait for an opportunity to sit and write about it. My head was full of sun and sand from the desert, my camera flooding with pictures. Unfortunately, a nasty cold, which was lurking around for some time, decided to strike and put me into bed for a few days. I did not feel like writing, working nor doing anything really. Luckily, the cold is almost gone now, and I feel strong enough to finally look through my pictures and write all about my five days in Morocco!
I have visited Africa few years back, in 2011. Marcin and I went for two weeks holidays inTunisia. The locals were trying to trick us out of money all the time. They were demanding, treating us like walking purses, lying to us constantly, and taking us to their shops, trying to charge us for anything – even for showing us where the toilets are in the shopping centre! I truly had enough of Africa for some time. So when my sister asked me if I wanted to go with them to Marrakech, I was not quite sure if I am up for another round of people telling me I must buy something at their cousins shop, which apparently she just opened and she is the only one who sells genuine goods…