Towns like Sefrou near Fes in Morocco become bustling centres of trade on market days. Farmers from the surrounding districts bring in their produce for sale, setting up on stalls in the squares, lanes and streets. The chaotic arrangement seems to work very effectively and the range of items on sale is enormous: vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflowers, carrots, onions, cucumbers, pumpkins, capsicans, and fruit like mandarins, oranges, bananas, dates, apples and a range of spices and nuts.
Then, like in the photo below, some vendors offer an enormous range of items: pens, radios, clothing, key rings, scarves, DVDs, cassettes, tools – the list goes on and on. It is a fascinating scene.
Over recent days I have been showing photos taken on our visit to the village of Sefrou about 30km from the city of Fes in Morocco. We visited on the day they had the farmers’ markets in the streets and lanes of the village. Today I share a few more photos.
On our visit to the village of Sefrou we were lucky to be there on market day. Sefrou is about 30km from the city of Fes. The farmers from the surrounding countryside bring in their produce and set up stalls in the streets and lane ways. It brings the town to life and the hustling crowds flock to buy their fruit, vegetables and other goodies – like the pastries shown below.
We couldn’t resist and bought some delicious bananas and mandarins.
On reflection, these markets are not so different to what we have here in Australia. Certainly, there is much variation in some of the produce for sale – no local farmers grow bananas or dates here in South Australia, for example. But they bring what they grow and local people flock to these events knowing that they are buying good quality food produced locally. It’s a growing trend here in Australia, but I’d say that in places like Sefrou it has been a tradition for many years, perhaps even centuries.
One aspect of travelling in Morocco that I looked forward to was the food. I believe that sampling the food delights of a different country, and especially a totally different culture like Morocco, is high up on my list of reasons for travelling. Mind you, I am generally very conservative in my selection of food when not travelling, whether that is at home or eating out in a local restaurant. On our touring I think I surprised myself in what I sometimes selected to eat; I know I really surprised my wife and daughter. I was often quite the adventurous one, and now I have some wonderful memories, not to mention a desire to travel the more exotic destinations.
While we were staying in Fes we took a day trip to the village of Sefrou some 30km away. Added to the delight of our visit was the fact that it was market day. Farmers from around the district descended on the town with their produce. They set up their stalls everywhere in the streets. Over the next few days I will share some of the photos taken at the market. The fruit and vegetables on display were not only colourful – they looked delicious.
And they tasted great too – we bought some bananas and mandarins.
While on our overseas holiday we met some very interesting people, some of them quite the character. None of them captured my attention like this 85 year old village blacksmith at work in Sefrou, a short drive from the city of Fes in Morocco.
Despite his age, he was determined, said our guide, to continue using his skills to repair the local farmers’ tools. His happy nature and infectious smile says it all. If only more people enjoyed their life’s work like this inspiring man.