Saturday, 7 November 2009

Souks and other itineraries

Crazy places, crazy people. So easy to get lost for hours,
retracing your steps many times.... Scissors from the
Metal Souk. Had to have them. They measure 20 x 10 cm.
Monster scissors, they cut well too. Surely I can't loose
these at workshops?!!

Tassels in so many shapes and sizes

Beautiful perfume bottles

Aladdin's lamps

And finally, the Tanneries

We couldn't decided whether or no to visit. We were
armed with a map and compass (Top Tip No.1, this is
essential, or at least a great help). Within two minutes
of leaving our riad we made a 'friend' who was "not a
guide", apparently. We wandered through a maze of
alleyways, eventually ending up - yes, you have
guessed - at the Tanneries. At the gate a group were
still grasping the handfuls of mint to their noses.

On entry we were also given fresh mint leaves, or as the
locals refer to them, a gas mask. Not a good omen.
Here I offer Top Tip No. 2 - if you feel the need to visit,
go in the early morning. I have a very good sense of
smell, and didn't find it unpleasant, although perhaps
I have become immune to 'unusual' aromas from visits
to India. The scene was grim, certainly not colourful.
The picture shows the lime bath, which removes hair
and other 'things' from the leather. Next up the pigeon
poo bath to soften hide, and then the dye baths.
These were all a bit brown and black.

Conclusion - good to tick off list, curiosity satisfied.
The local do not like their photos taken, except for
money. 'Friends', gatekeepers, et all. also require
cash, as did the man watching us take a photo of
a donkey. Clearly he had nothing to do with said
donkey, but it was another earning opportunity.


iNdi@ said...

i've just been reading that one of the key ingredients in tanning leather was traditionally dog faeces
that in some parts of the world
this tradition is firmly maintained

Judy said...

Hi Tiggy! Thanks for coming by my blog for a visit. I've enjoyed your post......I'd love to see India myself someday, but for now, I'll visit vicariously with you!

safe travels!


Martine said...

Thank you very much for those last two posts because i'm visiting Marrakech in a while and this is so helpful for me.

Tiggy Rawling said...

Thanks for your comments.

INdi - oh no, it gets worse. Think I will just stick to dyeing fabrics.

Marine - you will find it fascinating, but beware of 'guides' and take a good sense of humour with you.