Jamaa el Fna ساحة جامع الفناء is a square and market place in Marrakesh’s medina quarter and Fanâʼ” or “finâ'” can mean “death.”
Thus, one meaning for this square could be “The mosque or assembly of death,”. But do not let the name put you off. As well as this, the Square was the theater (shortly before noon on April 28, 2011) for a blast, originating in a cafe in the square, that killed 17 people and injured another 25 – do not let this put you off either.
Just go there for the Full Monty Moroccan Experience.
Snake charmers (seen from the distance as I don’t like snakes), Chleuh dancing-boys (not seen as I am not interested in any form of Art performed by little boys), story-tellers ( nah thanks: I don’t speak the language so it’s a waste of time) and magicians ( f—k that.).
But, oh boy, the food….thats why you really need to go.
And stall n. 22 owned by my friend Safiani is the place to have your dinner.
Grilled aubergines and other unknown vegetables, fired calamari and prawns and the best grilled lamb chops I had in my life. No beer, even though this is readily available around town in the form of the excellent Casablanca lager. You just need to ask and they will bring a nice big glass bottle of Coca Cola (Impossible to find nowadays and definitely still the best and most refreshing drink.)
Lamb sausages ( spicy and not), chicken skewers, Arabian bread and for the sweet tooth, trolleys of desserts on offering. A dinner for 2 with whole of the above will set you for about 15 Euro.
There are also stalls specializing in boiled lamb heads, which due to the fact that at the time the temperature was around 49 degrees celsius, and my wife said if I eat one she would divorce me, I did not have the pleasure to taste. Next time: promised.
All the printed guides will advise you not to drink their mint tea, nor to use their plate or forks. Do not trust them (the printed guides): just sit there and enjoy. I’ve eaten there for 4 nights in a row and can officially say I never had a problem in the toilet department after dinner.
I already miss you Morocco.
Insha’Allah I will see you soon.
(PS – I am wearing my limited edition release Jaguar T-Shirt – if you want one (fan shirt)- please enquire below)
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