One thing that it is impossible to fail to notice whilst meandering round Marrakech’s old town (the medina) is that there are a fair number of people who are quite interested in getting you to spend your money in their shops/stalls. Luckily since the introduction of the Tourist police a few years ago this merely boils down to shopkeepers saying the immortal words ‘come my shop my friend’ or generally repeating the name of what they’re selling over and over again. At least you know what you’re buying when you go in to the shops that way. However as with any form of business innovations have taken place to give certain retailers the edge, this has led to the sales technique this author would like to dub the ‘Berber look’ in that they offer either post-sale or when attempting to make the sale to make you look like a Berber with one of their scarves.
Now the question of whether this ‘Berber look’ is accurate is somewhat debatable however if you’re looking for an amusing souvenir in the form of a photo of you in ‘traditional Berber headgear’ then it can be somewhat amusing to get the salesman you’re doing business with to throw a ‘Berber makeover’ into the bargain (any excuse to get value for money), the look they actually give you is more reminiscent of the Tauregs than any of the Berber groups you are likely to encounter in Marrkech but that certainly doesn’t stop the shopkeepers describing it as the ‘Berber look’. Upon the completion of the ‘makeover’ the individual is given a ‘Berber name’, this author was dubbed ‘Abdul couscous’ much to the shopkeepers amusement. Regardless of possible cultural inaccuracies it’s definitely part of the experience of haggling in the Marrakchi souks (markets) and on occasion quite amusing, so all in all probably worth your time if you’re thinking of buying something anyway. Our Riads are located in the heart of the historic Medina, a 2 minute walk from entering the main souk area, so a stay with us means you can peruse the bustling market areas till your heart is content and perhaps indulge in a ‘Berber makeover’ if so inclined. Book a room now so you too can experience the marvels of Marrakech and the amusing situations that its traditions can sometimes lead to.
Due to scruples contained within Islamic texts it is forbidden to depict living creatures such as humans or animals. This has not however stopped the Islamic world from developing its own very distinctive and beautiful forms of art, indeed many of the forms and shapes expressed within the realms of Islamic art certainly have benefited from these cultural directives. One has simply to look at any mosque found anywhere in the world to appreciate the beauty that can be found in Islamic calligraphy and tessellation. Marrakech is one such place where these sights can be found in abundance and great variation, within the Medina. Any number of the great landmarks that are to be found within the Medina can be seen to display such magnificent pieces.
A real Moroccon experience can be greatly enriched by taking in such wonders, which are to be found all over the old town. Luckily this is all within short walking distance of our wonderful Riad Cinnamon
Riad Cinnamon is a Merchants house the restoration of which required the input of dozens of traditional craftsmen. Peek through the hand crafted window grilles to catch a glimpse of the private Riad courtyard.
Marrakech Riads are the ideal place to stay when you come to explore the old town.