We just spent three days and nights in Marrakech, Morocco. What a trip. We stayed in a newly-opened riad (traditional Moroccan mansion with an interior courtyard) near the Medina (old quarter). We visited the Medina, souks, several gardens and one palace. We tried to visit a madrassa, but didn’t have cash for the entry fee.

The Medina was incredible, and also exactly what we expected. I loved it. It is basically a rabbit warren of shops and stalls selling shoes, handbags, spices, handicrafts, lots of gold stuff, clothing, jewelry, furniture, baskets, carpets, lamps, tableware – you name it. It’s tight, crowded, meandering and confusing. Also, alarmingly, they allow bicycles and motor scooters inside the rabbit warrens, and they are everywhere. You just have to surrender to the experience, get lost and enjoy the show. I did get some fabulous woven sandals for my mom, sister and myself, and we got a miniature Aladdin’s lamp-type tchotchke that we will repurpose into a Christmas tree ornament. We had lunch one day up on a lovely terrace with plenty of sun protection and water vapor misters, which really helped ease the heat.

Speaking of motor scooters, the streets of Morocco are where people go to play Kamikaze Chicken. It’s insane. In addition to regular cars, trucks and buses, there are all manner of carts, pulled by humans, horses, donkeys and motor scooters. There are elaborate horse-drawn carriages for tourists. Lots of pedestrians. Tons of taxis and no Uber. There are bikes, mini motorcycles and regular motorcycles. Adults ride around with their kids hanging off of them. It is perfectly normal to see a Porsche SUV right next to an old man riding on the edge of his donkey cart. The back streets, at least in the old quarter, are a free-for-all. The more major streets are marked with lanes and some stop signs, but these are widely ignored. We saw countless close calls, but no actual accidents.

The currency in Morocco is the Dirham. We found that vendors were also happy to take Euros and U.S. Dollars. I imagine British pounds would probably work, too. Unlike most major European cities, there are not ATMs on every corner, but the taxi drivers seem to know where all of them are.

We didn’t see any high-rise buildings; the tallest structures appeared to be the minarets atop the mosques. We were disappointed that it is not possible to visit any of the mosques, though we did enjoy hearing the calls to prayer several times a day. The people of Marrakech speak a mixture of Berber and Arabic, as well as French, and many people also speak English and/or Spanish. Most signs are printed in Arabic and French.

The late couturier, Yves Saint-Laurent, is a BFD in Marrakech. He and Pierre Bergé had a house there, which you can see on a guided tour for $2,000. As if. You can also visit the adjacent Majorelle Gardens, which they also owned, for a reasonable entry fee. We went, and it’s lovely. There is a nice monument to YSL and Pierre, and a little room with photos of advertisements for his couture collections. I read that his ashes were spread there, too. There is a YSL museum in Marrakech, and a street named after him.

YSL was apparently heavily influenced by all the colors he saw in Morocco, and reportedly designed many of his collections there. He once said, ““On every street corner in Marrakech, you encounter astonishingly vivid groups of men and women, who stand out in a blend of pink, blue, green, and purple kaftans.” Indeed!