Founded on 1062, Marrakech lay on a fertile plain forty miles from the foot of the High Atlas; it was the market place for the riches of the south – walnuts, oranges, grain, hides, spices, dates and precious metals. The city had changed very little in its thousand year existence until the 1920s.
Although partially westernised in the 20th century, Marrakech still remained an African city and was the greatest tourist attraction of North Africa. It was our second visit and we found it busy, smelly, exciting and full of tourists. One day in the city was enough for us. We revisited the Government Shop and had a delicious Indian meal at our favourite restaurant that evening. Our campsite was 5K outside the city and we were taken into the centre by minibus. We went in in the morning, coming back at lunchtime; we returned that evening to eat and the bus took us back to the campsite at the end of the evening. The driver also collected our purchases from the shop so that we didn’t have to carry them round. The cost was 160D for the two of us – about £11.