The “Red City” Marrakech, in the southwest of Morocco offers a maze of alleys, bazaars and souks, where you can easily lose. Like this time, the path led me, without any definite destination, to the most beautiful places. This time it was the streets where I suddenly found myself.

There, where the people live

After traveling for a few hours in the center of Marrakech and being offered things from every corner, I felt like moving away from the turmoil. Because in Marrakech’s center it is almost unavoidable not to attract attention and to be branded a tourist. Cobra snakes tied around your neck and Hena painted on your skin are some of the things you can hardly escape. At least here you will realize that Marrakech lives from tourism. But that was not why I was in Marrakech. I wanted to discover the people and the city that the inhabitants called their home. So I set out and ran in the direction my feet carried me.

It did not take long for the cityscape to change and the crowds got fewer. After just a few minutes walk, there was no room left for market stalls and cars. Strung houses lined the streets. From time to time, cats and dogs ran by. The inhabitants looked at me in astonishment, as if I had gotten lost because there is nothing spectacular to see here. But that impressed me. Everywhere the red houses with their windows were at eye level, where people sat in or by the window. In their faces, I noticed that not everyone was pleased with my presence outside his window. Maybe it was my camera that was around my neck. Maybe even the wonderment that someone dared to walk through the streets. But as long as I met them with respect and behaved like a guest, I had nothing to worry about. After all, hospitality is a top priority in Islamic cultures. Then on one occasion, when no one was in front of and behind me, I flinched the camera to perpetuate the moment.

The image of the alley always reminds me that in addition to the huge hotels and pool areas Marrakech also has another side. Namely, the site where people are densely populated and live side by side with open doors. There where in every corner another, strange smell blew and one asked oneself repeatedly, whether one did not run this way already once. There is the true Marrakech for me.