Book Review: Tangier by Richard Hamilton — The Ultimate Armchair Tour

Book Review: Tangier by Richard Hamilton — The Ultimate Armchair Tour

Tangier rests on a strange, wayward little corner of Africa. It is a great accident of history and privileged geography, having been the first stop in Africa for many people from around the world, as well as many foreigner’s first experience with a muslim culture. It has played host for thousands of years. “Much of Tangier’s history,” Richard Hamilton writes, “is a chronology of foreigners and exiles.” In fact, one could do a tour of Tangier solely on these misfits of history. These exiles have long been welcomed to promenade along the famed terrace of soor magazine, where 150 year-old cannons thrust out, down through the chaotic souks and on to the long stretch of sand along the bay. (more…)

Book Review: Shopping in Marrakech

Shopping in Marrakech Susan Simon Book CoverSusan Simon’s Shopping in Marrakech is as colorful and dizzying as the streets of Marrakech. With dazzling photographs on nearly every page and plenty of insight on how to navigate Marrakech’s disorienting labyrinth of shops, Shopping in Marrakech will persuade even the non-shopper to head out for a day in the souks.

With the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Atlas Mountains to the east and the Sahara Desert sprinkled across the south, Marrakech has been a significant trading post since the Almoravid conquered Spain in the 11th century. Home to one of the largest traditional markets in Morocco, Marrakech’s medina is a bustling maze of covered markets, food stalls, storytellers and snake charmers.

At first glance of the map, navigating Marrakech looks positively overwhelming. Thankfully this guide is organized into seven separate walks to help you systematically navigate the bewildering array of shops. The book reads more like a treasure map than a traditional guidebook, leading the reader on a journey through winding alleyways and hidden streets to find the best of Morocco’s handmade treasures.