Sheep’s head, anise flavoured snails and cinnamon are three things that immediately flood my memory when I think about Djemaa el Fna and Marrakech.
Djemaa el Fna is the main square in Marrakech’s medina quarter. Bustling and filled with merchants and performers all day and night, this area inspired the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity UNESCO project, where they identify cultural history such as music and performances, rather than physical buildings and places.
During the day, stalls sell orange juice, dates and nuts. Performers wander around with poor Barbary apes on chains and snake charmers try to lure in tourists.
There are a number of cafés facing the square.
And then, before sunset, the snakes move out and the food carts start moving in.
To me, this is when Djemaa el Fna really comes alive. At night the square is filled with food stalls, hungry people, singers, drummers, dancers, storytellers, women doing tattoos with some dubious henna and people selling traditional medicines.