Hammam

A visit to the local Hammam is just the thing after a long trek. Since many of the people of Azrou don’t have running water, this is the place they all come to wash. You’ll find it an amazing authentic cultural experience. Here’s an account from a recent customer, Anna:

I was really nervous about going into the Hammam. Knowing that it was the place that all the local towns people wash, I imagined it to be grimey. I just couldn’t have been further from the truth. While it’s interior is not elaborate, it is clean and it’s atmosphere was just so warm and welcoming. While Moroccan culture is becoming more westernised, in Azrou things are still very traditional. Women and girls wear a headscarf, with some older women holding a piece of their scarf across their faces as well. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of modesty in the Hammam.

The women were so lovely even though I don’t speak a word of Arabic or French. All my fears were quickly allayed by their welcoming nature. First I was shown through to the upstairs tiled changing room with wooden benches around the edges and shelves to leave your belongings. I changed into my swimsuit (I am a nervous, westerner after all!) and left my clothes there under the watchful eye of the attendant. I then came down stairs into the main washing room. The air was filled with steam and the sweet clean smell of soap. All the women were wearing just their knickers. Mothers sat with their daughters washing and brushing their hair. Young daughters massaged the backs of their mothers. There was just such a beautiful community feeling. One of the lovely ladies set me up sitting on the tiled floor with a bucket, a scoop and some strange black soap. I just had no idea what to do! The girl next to me showed me how to fill my bucket, and use the scoop to pour the water over myself. I instantly felt a part of the community even though we could only communicate through body language. I spent a while soaping myself, then dousing myself before one of the attendants came over and gave me a full body scrub and massage which was intense. Definitely not meant for relaxation, but for cleansing purposes. Afterwards I felt so refreshed and so much more in touch with the people and the culture of the town and of Morocco.

After the Hamam, we met back up with Hassan to go shopping in the market for the ingredients of the amazing tagine he was to cook us. I saw the girl who had shown me how to use the bucket and scoop. We waved across the market. It felt so good to have made a friend in the town.

-Anna 🙂

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