Our first attack of the souks was with our guide, who kindly took us around to all of the quality shops. Our goal was to avoid all of the kitschy tourist traps and find the authentic pieces and antiques.
Above – what the souks looked like on Friday morning – their version of a closed weekend morning.
Above, a stark difference from morning to afternoon. Although still relatively quiet, the souks came alive after 3pm…
When the call to prayer sounded, our guide dumped us in a massive rug emporium where we saw two women at the hand of a centuries-old loom. Trying my hand at the tedious technique, I soon learned the patience and willpower these women must have to complete one rug, let a lone hundreds in their lifetime.
Waiting on our guide to return from the mosque, we wandered about the shop where we got a second hand high from the fumes of hash coming from the workers’ mouths. They rolled out rug after rug until we ultimately shut them down and scuttled out of the place gasping for fresh air. No rugs in hand.
The rest of our afternoon continued, the only successful purchase was an antique bamboo and camel leather rug from the family owned and celebrity frequented Porte d’Or – where my friend got the price so low the rug would ‘cry all the way to London’ (according to the owner). With such an unproductive day and feeling as rushed as we did (we had a hammam appointment), we vowed to return again to following week.