the souk

it really makes sense to take a guide when you walk around the souk of marrakesh – not only will it keep the many vendors from harrassing you but also keep you from getting lost, especially in the heat.  the downfall is that you end up on some tourist route, visiting the same old carpet shops and argan oil vendors.  we really tried to encourage our guide  to the type of things we wanted to see, but it is very difficult, unless you have a personally recommended guide and list of shops.  to be honest, unless you want to buy a rug, a basket or a lamp, you go to the souk to eperience the whole atmosphere of trading, the warrens of stalls with its fabulous wares.  we ended up having lunch in le jardin, which was a pleasant courtyard garden with typical tagines and salads and with pop up shop by norya ayron with her modern take on printed kaftans.  i came away with a lovely woven basket – yes yet another one to add to my collection.  i was trying to think of what we have in london that is nearest to the souks of morocco and I could only think of Camden market – with its warren of covered markets sprawling around the streets and canal, its one of the few markets that is not just food orientated.  what has happened in london is that there are lots of food markets, broadway, borough, bermondsey, greenwich,with a splash of gifts thrown in.  there are of course still the famous markets of portobello, petticoat lane, ridley road,  golborne road, shepherds bush – thank goodness that the supermarkets havent entirely taken over.

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