Today we decided to visit the Ben Youssef college and museum as other people had seen it earlier in the week and highly recommended it. It was beautiful and sunny while we wandered through the souks on our way to it. We were all in a beautiful mood as we felt that we were truly getting to grips with the Moroccan life style. It was dh60 to get admission into the museum and college (but fully worth it). My favorite was the museum, it contained many beautiful paintings and an amazingly decorated hall which looked like the best place to meditate in the world. Here i discovered some really beautiful wood paintings that helped me to decide that as my project theme. Eventually after lots of tile rubbings and photos we emerged back into the sun. We spent a while soaking it up and drinking mint tea, whilst cats wandered around us and i appreciated the flowers. There were lots of succulents, my favourites).
After a while we decided to take ourselves over to the college. this was a large courtyard that was surrounded by rooms. I found these rooms a bit creepy as they we so empty and peculiarly sized, also i hit my head making me not very happy with them. lots of the walls contained dusty hand prints and wood had initials scratched into it. It felt like all the students would come running back inside like they had never left.
In the afternoon we decided to split into small groups as some people wanted to visit the photography museum which was rumored to have a beautiful roof top that overlooked the city as well as lots of old photographs showing Marrakesh from the 1800. As me and a few friends weren’t too bothered we decided to wander round the souks and have some lunch. As we twisted through the streets we bumped into a man who persuaded us to follow him to the dyers market. We were aware that this could be a scam and that we needed to be careful, but the man assured us it was for free so we cautiously followed. After a while we ended up in an area that was distinctively the dyers market, the smell was strong and thick in our eyes and everything was colorful. We were shown around the dyers workshop, shown the dye powders and what colours they made as well as a man stiring wool in a dye vat (the thought of the smell still makes my eyes sting). We were then taken up to the rooftop, where all the wool was drying in the sun. It was a beautiful view of all the other rooftops laden with different colours of wool. As we moved across the roof we had to walk through curtains of wool that enveloped us in warm hugs. We returned back downstairs and the man showed us his scarfs, he also showed us the traditional ways of wearing them which was very amusing. Finally he tried to persuade us to buy some of the scarves, we knew that we would need to purchase something in order to say thank you for the tour but didn’t want to spend more that dh100. We felt that this was fair as we had seen other scarves for sale in the depths of the souks which were far cheaper. As they do, he started the prices at dh600, as we tried to barter him down he became offended. Eventually we left the dyers market, minus a scarf and full of fear. We walked quickly for the next few minutes and checked to see if he was after us!
Suddenly we were lost! we had managed to come out of the souks and ended up in an large open space with a main road. Fortunately we recognized the road from Monday and asked directions to make sure we were going the right way. Eventually we ended up back in the square and decided to go for some snacks and drinks at the same place we ate at on Monday night. We had a beautiful view of the square while the sun went down and decided to do some drawing and planning.
We wandered back to the Riad for 6 as we had organized with the rest of our friends to meet there so we could have tea. Once we had met them we decided to take them to the Henna Cafe where we had been a few nights before. Everyone enjoyed it and we met a lovely Moroccan guy who studies English Litrature, who was very keen to ‘take us for some fun’. We decided we were all too sleepy but that we would come back for him the next night! We wandered back to our Riad and fell into our beds again.