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It's time for another Morocco blog post, and this time it's all about SHOPPING! Shopping in Morocco was unlike anything I've ever experienced, and I took SO MANY PICTURES of it. Probably because the shopping opportunities were literally around every corner, and the COLORS had me swooning. So here's the lowdown on what to shop for in Marrakech.
1. Herbs and spices.
Spices were sold all over the place, and the aromas were to die for! We ended up coming home with three main spice blends: one for chicken, one for seafood, and one for red meat. And pretty much everyone we know got some for Christmas, too. ;)
2. Body/beauty products.
I probably should have taken better advantage of the amazing oils and such that are available in Morocco, but we did pick up a few perfume bars that we gave as Christmas gifts.
My favorite things about the spice/soap shops were the walls of natural dyes they use for color. These deeply saturated colors just make my heart sing!
(This shot is one of my favorites and is available as a print in my Etsy shop!)
3. Wood carvings! The array of wooden products reminded me of shops in Costa Rica. So many intricate designs! We brought home a couple of little toys for Afton, a cool puzzle box we gave my brother for Christmas, and a little wooden necklace handmade just for me right in front of us!
4. Leather. Again, the combination of fabulous colors and wonderful smells was such a feast for the senses! I resisted buying bags and moccasins for myself, but we did pick out a dark blue pouf that looks great in our living room!
5. Wool items! This stuff wasn't quite as ubiquitous, which made it seem particularly special. I was mesmerized by all these dyed woolen beads. My mom, mom-in-law, and I each have one of these necklaces! I get comments on mine every time I wear it... probably because it's a bit weird by American standards, but I love that it gives me an opportunity to talk about my trip to Morocco. ;)
6. Dishes! Teapots, tagines, plates, pots... oh my!
If there hadn't been logistic issues with getting this kind of heavy/breakable stuff back home, I would have bought SO MUCH MORE.
We ended up with just a few miniature tagines and some plates--for us and our parents and brothers. Our plates are on the wall in the dining room, and I love them!
7. Rugs! Oh, the search for the perfect Moroccan rug! In Morocco, you don't go shopping so much as you get taken shopping, and this was especially true when it came to rugs. My first day there, we were taking a calm stroll around town, and before I knew it, Alex and I were in this huge room with a whole team of Moroccan salespeople trying to help us find the right rug. Alex loved the thrill of the negotiation, but it was all a bit much for my introverted brain, so I withdrew behind my camera lens so I didn't have to participate (and so I could capture all these gorgeous details without anyone bothering me!). This became the typical daily pattern when it came to all kinds of shopping. Alex negotiated, and I wandered away to take pictures. :)
We did end up buying a rug that's now in our entryway, and it was worth all the stress!
8. Lanterns and lamps! These were such fun to look at, especially with so many hanging so close together. The intricate filigree patterns create the coolest shadows on every nearby surface!
We bought one at this fancy shop, which was an experience unto itself. Moroccans seems to think Americans are all really rich (which in the scheme of things, I guess we are!). Alex and I were treated like royalty at this place. And again, I was a little uncomfortable with it, but Alex LOVED EVERY MINUTE. I still think we may have overpaid for the lamp we got, but it does look lovely on our piano.
9. Clothes! There were definitely some beautiful fabrics to peruse! I loved these pashminas, but I have two lovely ones that my parents got for me in Israel, and it's HOT where I live, so it wasn't too hard to say no to those. The other clothes were a little too exotic for me to pull off in the states, but you know who CAN pull them off...?
Afton, of course!! I'm so glad we brought back this sweet little dress and matching shoes! She loves her "'rocco clothes!"
That's it for shopping! I think there's one more Morocco blog post coming... ;)