Immediately after taking our bearings we decided to go to the Souk Al Hamidya on the edge of the city. Jacek tends to avoid markets because of the crowds, but he agreed to go with me. And was very glad he did! I am sure what will follow is very cliched but that is how it is. It was colourful and sensuous and crowded and fascinating and different in every way. What was great was that everyone was different. In the picture above you can just see a girl who is wearing her blue top over her abaya – the sort of take on fashion that I mentioned previously. The souk itself was very old. Construction began in 1780 and it was opened 6 years later. It is 600 metres long and packed to the brim with covetable goods
Many markets sell everything. This one was no exception. It was delightful to see what many women wear beneath their modest clothes. I was a bit curious as to how they actually purchase these clothes. Do they try them on? Do they take them home and bring them back? Do they have them posted in plain brown envelopes? We didn’t actually see anyone buying, but it can’t have been the stall holder’s intention to be a museum piece. (A couple of years later we went to Turkey and there we saw with our own eyes what a woman was wearing under her abaya. She had unfortunately fallen over and her dress had rolled up to reveal some incredibly luxurious red silk or satin underclothing. Luckily she was not hurt and quickly regained her modesty. But we saw what we saw!)
This I think was near the entrance to the souk. The windows look so old and the glass so fragile and beautiful.
The city gate on the way out