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Jmaa el Fna in Marrakech

This morning after a sleep beset by a wailing baby and a blaring television, I set off to find a good hostel. I had found one that looked fantastic, the Equity Point Hostel (aka Riad Amazigh) I arranged to check in at 11 and returned to the Hotel al Jazeera to get my bags. One persistant tout followed me and I had to bust out the somewhat rude ‘baddee manh’ and ‘serfa khalic’ , roughly buzz off and get lost. He then followed me for a bit, but I ducked into a bread shop when he couldn’t see me and had some bread and coffee.

Back to Riad Amazigh only to find out that the desk had thought I had a reservation and the only room available was shared for 275 dirham. Zacharia, the desk clerk was apologetic and told me to use the internet there for free and to go upstairs to get some breakfast for free because of the misunderstanding. The place looks remarkable and definitely gets two thumbs up from me, only negative for me is that there is a bar that the mostly American and Europeans are getting trashed in each night. Not what I want.

I may actually have to pay the clown because there are no pictures of the scary guys, just this friendly looking joker

At breakfast I met up with Lynette and Daniel, a Canadian and American travelling together who also needed to find somewhere to stay for the night and we threw our lot together and went out searching. Zacharia let us leave our bags there while we looked for cheap accommodation.

After visiting quite a few places that looked less than great, we checked out the expensive looking Cafe and Hotel France right in the famous Place Jemma el Fna. We opted to split the cost of accomodation for three and it ended up being 250 dirhams total with them having a room and me having a room. Much better location and room than Hotel al Jaweera and only about 83 dirhams each. Very nice.

After this, we visited the Palace el Badhii, ate a very delicious lunch in the Kasbah, and now, we are here. They are fun people to hang out with. Also no guide book for them.

Place Jemma el Fna is filled with snake charmers, jugglers, men with monkeys, and the scariest dirty arab clowns I’ve ever seen. Rather than pay every person for pictures, I’m swiping some of the many from the internet. Same performers, different day, and much cheaper for me with no hassle. (originally posted on 20 FEB 2009)

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Vago Damitio

Mr. Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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