Friday, December 11, 2015

First stop Marrakech

Spent last month touring Morocco starting from Marrakesh and had completely forgotten how manic the  square (Jemma el fna) was (translates as "assembly of the dead"), aptly named given that it was a place of public executions many many moons ago. You will not know where to look I promise as it is packed with snake charmers eager to drape a snake round your neck.

Water sellers (who don't seem to sell much water but you can pay to have a photo taken with them). Storytellers, acrobats, belly dancers who are men (pretty obvious) especially when they tried to sing, but as women are not allowed to perform, it makes it quite amusing all the same. You have doe eyed children selling packets of paper hankies or biscuits and sidle up to you and bat their huge eyes. On one stop at a cafe to catch our breath and a pot of mint tea, no less than 19 offers  came to us trying to sell their wares, from watches, sunglasses, wooden statues, feather paintings, cigarettes, mirrors, baskets,lamps to name a few. The whole square is alive with sounds from drums, singing, tambourines, storytellers, violins, wafts of smoke from the food stalls, it is a total sensory explosion and can be quite overwhelming.

Chained Barbary apes wearing nappies! henna artists, orange, date, and nut sellers, and don't forget a 100 or so plus chefs with stalls where you can eat delicious tagines or Ghoulal soup if you fancy it.(snails)! and I don't and didn't. Take a trip in a Caleche  (horse and carriage) on a tour round the city, oh and then there are the souks and it seems once you are in you can't get out but a fun experience all the same but can be exhausting.

After the square we visited the Majorelle Gardens, where the rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, the whole garden was alight with the most vibrant of blues, water features with tortoises sunning themselves and stunning cacti giving the whole place an air of complete tranquility, a sheer delight after the craziness of  Jemma el fna.

After strolling round the garden several times, next visit had to be the Berber Museum on the same grounds as the garden, you are not allowed to take pictures but here are a couple from their website. The jewelery displays are set in a stunning mirrored room with several display cases with some exquisite  filigree work, enameling, cabochons and engravings, look up and you will  see a black velvet sky strewn with thousands of stars, traditional Berber music plays softly in the background and you  find your self transported to the desert dreaming of having a chance to wear perhaps a few of these choice pieces... ahem back to reality!!!! 

Next stop  Ouarzazate and a drive through the Tizi-n-Tichka. 


Pinkflorentina said...

Simply WOW! Looking forward to the next stop

Chrissie Marshall said...

Best get a wiggle on then and draft it up, thank for popping in Pink. xxx

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