When we arrived at Marrakech train station, Howard and I immediately got accosted by a taxi driver, who took us to the town square for roughly $100 dirham. We were then escorted by a young boy (younger than 10) to our Riad, the Riad Marhaba, which is a beautiful Riad in the heart of the Medina. For those of you who do not know, a Riad is a converted mansion that has several rooms and a bed&breakfast type feel... When we arrived, we found a very nice staff, and a room with no real door (a curtain separated the bathroom and the room, and a curtain separated the room from the center of the house. Nonetheless, the place had a feeling of safety, because the people were quite genuine and the Riad itself was fairly secluded and locked away by a heavy steel door.
This morning, we ventured into the markets of the Medina, ultimately going to an artist and purchasing some paintings. Howard bought a beautiful painting mostly in blue for $350 dirham (down from $600 dirham, through bargaining) and I bought a bit larger painting for $400 dirham (down from $700 dirham through bargaining). My painting depicts three arab horsemen and looks really neat. I sent it off to Miriam and Mark (my sister and bro-in-law) for their new housewarming gift (Hey guys - it should be there in 2-3 weeks and is pretty large, so be prepared; We'll need to get it mounted). Needless to say, this was a fun experience.
Here's some photos from the Medina this morning, including one of me and a monkey. Funny story - I was looking around the square at a group of snake charmers, when I literally walked into the Monkey Man. Without any opportunity to avoid it, he placed the monkey on my hand. Howard took a quick photo and we walked away as quickly as possible. :-) Pretty funny. Also note the Schwarma guy, that seems quite a bit more appealing than Alibaba on the UWS:
After taking care of the paintings, we travelled to the Majorelle garden, home to exotic plants from all five continents that were organized by a french artist, Jacque Majorelle, in 1924. This is a pretty cool place (literally cooler than the 105 degrees of the city) and i'd recommend to all travelers to this area, especially in the summer. Here's some photos, including a few of people's etched names, etc into the plants:
Tonight, we plan to hit the markets in the square, which runs usually until 2am, after we grab dinner in the Jewish quarter of the medina, the Mellah...