Supporting the local economy

Day 6
Marrakech, Morocco

On this, our last day in Marrakech, we felt it was our duty (kind of) to exchange some more U.S. dollars to dihrams in order to support the economy here — in two very different ways.

First, Ahmed, the manager of Dar Saria, guided us into the narrow streets of the souq. He brought us to a local wholesaler of handwoven textiles. After a friendly welcome from the owner and some mint tea, we were treated to what seemed a never ending parade of carpets and blankets unfurled before our feet. Prices ranged from several hundred to several thousand dollars, which while far less than you’d pay in the States, was still a bit much for us. We ended up with a pair of colorful silk pillow cases for around $40USD.

Next up was ceramics and pottery. With a wall to wall selection, the options at this stall seemed limitless. Charlotte found two small hand painted bowls (perfect for oatmeal and granola, she says) as well as a small antique Berber vase. One of the local specialties in Marrakech is a pottery made from limestone and black salt — and a small bowl rimmed with a hammered metal edge was too perfect to pass up. Finally, we visited the local lantern craftsman. He had a nice sized handmade copper lantern, with stained glass windows. With a bit of competitive haggling, we had a deal. All told, the ceramics and lantern ran us around $100USD.

After our shopping excursion, we grabbed our bathing suits and took a 15-minute cab to the Palmeraie neighborhood, home to Morocco’s outpost of Nikki Beach. Although we had partly cloudy skies, it was still a welcome respite to lounge on some daybeds, split a bottle of nice wine and have a meal that didn’t include couscous. Our bill, with admission for the day, ran us about $140USD, about what we spent in the souqs. One has to hope that at least some of this money will stay here locally.

Tonight, we’re having our final Marrakech dinner in la square, before getting to bed early. Our 7-hour train to Fes departs at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

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Comments

  1. Still stalking (and loving) bloggy, Char and Marc!!! Can’t wait to see all your treasures. The pool club looks amazing– a little different from Longfellow– huh Char?!?! You are not missing much in Dc, well I guess it is kind of a big deal that the Pope is here but I’ll be honest and say I was more excited when George Clooney, Russell Crowe, and Rachel McAdams were here…xoxoxo Carlevag

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