Carlos is a very talented photographer and friend of mine who recently had the wonderful opportunity to visit Morocco where he kept a journal of his experiences. He is sharing some excerpts from his journal entries and beautiful photography today. To see more of his work, visit his website here.
"As soon as we got to our dorm-style riad room, we put our things down and ventured off to the Jemaa el-Fnaa to explore our surroundings. This place is Marrakech’s main square and marketplace. We spent most of our free time in the medina, exploring the square and the alleys that spill into it.
The Jemaa el-Fnaa evolves as the day progresses. By day, the square is mostly fresh orange juice stalls, with snake charmers and monkey handlers littered across the landscape. The energy gravitates towards the cafes and eateries that line the Jemaa el-Fnaa, as well as the market storefronts that dominate the tight alleyways seeping out from the open square. By night, countless food stalls set up all throughout the square, filling the sky with steam and engulfing your senses with the aroma of Moroccan spices and the overbearing voices of hosts trying to coax you into their food stalls. Musicians and drum circles, storytellers and magicians, dancers and other various entertainers join the mix… successfully capturing the attention of bystanders and hustling for their keep. The Jemaa el-Fnaa paints a picture of beautiful chaos that is a complete contrast from the peaceful serenity of the riad."
A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace that houses foreigners much like a hostel would. These buildings are characterized by an inner courtyard or garden as the focal point, with little to no windows facing the outside. Instead, rooms of the riad open up facing the courtyard, mirroring Islamic ideals of privacy and inner reflection. It was a truly unique experience, reluctantly opening the unmarked door of our riad, only to find an extremely beautiful and welcoming interior that none of us would have ever expected. Our particular riad was a labyrinth in itself, with winding corridors that opened up into various courtyards. Our room was relatively deep into the riad and we had to walk through two courtyards to reach our very own. The first two focused around very peaceful gardens; ours focused around a swimming pool that helped cool the air around it.
Something i wrote in the mountains.
“I don’t need a photo to remember this day.
I can recall every little detail.
These moments last a lifetime if you let them.
Even that one euphoric moment,
When you look around and you know you’re with the right people,
Sharing that same surreal feeling while taking in such vast natural beauty.
I’d never felt so content.
My mind clear of pollution. My wanderlust satisfied for the time being.
I don’t need a photo to remember this day.