Back to getting up early. Got up at 6:30 and waited for the seven o'clock shuttle for thirty minutes before starting to worry. The manager (owner?) of our hotel luckily offered to drive us the 35km back to Boumalne. Caught the worst bus yet. It was with CTM (the national bus company) which is supposed to be very nice, and costs 30 percent more. Unfortunately it had no A/C, the least amount of leg room yet, and bad suspension (on some of the roughest roads yet). Basically it was hot, cramped, and nauseating. Even more basically it was long.
Finally arrived in Marrakesh. Took a taxi to Place Djemaa el-Fna (we had to fight with the taxi driver to get him to use the meter - which resulted in a fare that was only a third of the quoted fare). How to describe Djemaa el-Fna? I think it might be impossible. There are thousands of people, the smoke of many fires and lanterns hangs over the square, there are acrobats, poets, and story tellers. Food and fresh juice can be had from hundreds of venders. You can have your fortune told in a dozen different ways from several dozen tellers. You can buy the spices and herbs to cure any ailment, or to bring down any enemy. And the music that drifts over the white noise of the crowds is the eerily familiar reed sounds of many different snake charmers. It's two parts Arabian Nights, one part Ringling brothers, and one hundred percent Moroccan.