I’m back. Almost. It seems that whenever I travel somewhere my body returns earlier than the rest. So while I’ve been back for a couple of days, I’m still somehow stuck in Morocco. Peculiar. Does that happen to anyone else?
I enjoyed it a great deal but it was stressful. We did such a lot and met so many people as we travelled with different people who knew other people in Marrakech and Essaouira. I suppose I’ve seen a few things tourists usually do not see like work shops in which they make wooden boxes and furniture and such.
The temperature was quite high in Marrakech, 38°/100°, while it was cool and very windy in Essaouira, 19°/66°. I was worried it would be too cold in Switzerland but the last couple of days the temperature was around 25°/77°.
I took a lot of pictures in Marrakech but hardly any in Essaouira. What follows are just a few impressions.
The top picture and these pictures show the famous place, Djemma el Fna, in the heart of Marrakech. The city is divided into two halves, a modern one and the old part with the Medina and covered souks. The place is just located in front of the souks, in the old town. A feature of Marrakech that I like a lot is that there are ramparts around the whole of the old town.
During the day there is some activity but it’s at night that the place really comes to life. I wouldn’t say that it’s a beautiful place as such but it’s incredibly interesting as time seems to have come to a standstill here. There are numerous people performing acts with animals, like medieval jugglers, others are selling things, offering henna tattoos. At night hundreds and hundreds of food stalls offer various food. Mostly grilled meat, fish and vegetables. The place is quite noisy as people laugh and shout, drums and flutes are ebing played. It’s picturesque and colorful to say the least.
The Jardin de Majorelle which belonged to Yves St Laurent, is a big attraction and very beautiful. Since I’ve been there ten years ago it has been redecorated and the colors were stunning and intense.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many and such big Bougainvillea bushes.
It’s lovely to stand under the bamboo and listen to the wind softly rustling in the leaves.
There are various ponds and fountains in the garden.
The main colors the buildings are painted in are Yves Klein blue, yellow, green and white.
We stayed in a Riad in the heart of the medina. A stunning place which received a lot of media coverage in Germany and Switzerland. It belonged to the German ambassador in Marrakech and was transformed into a guest house after his death. This is the hotel garden.
The center piece of the hotel garden.
A view over the roof of the hotel.
The entrance to the souks. For some vendors business was a bit slow that day.
One of the many beautiful gates in the medina.
The medina is a giant market. You can find a lot of lovely things in many different materials. Woodwork, spices, fabrics, jewellery, food.
This little kitty was sleeping peacefully in the middle of the poultry market. I didn’t take pictures of the market. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
This is a sight you don’t see every day. On the road to Essaouira you find Argan trees. The fruit look like big olives. They are used for making argan oil which is very fashionable at the moment. Even big cosmetic lines like L’Oréal use the oil. It can also be used like olive oil for salad. It tastes very different though, a bit like walnut oil.
The goats climb these trees as they are very keen on the fruit. Along the road you will see many a tree covered in goats. So funny.
I didn’t know goats could climb so well.
Essaouira is located on the Atlantic ocean. This is the view from the hotel room. The guest house we stayed in belongs to Swiss people who built it two years ago, practically into the ocean. At night the waves can come as high as the second story windows.
The streets in Marrakech and Essaouira are swarming with cats. Most of the cats I saw in Marrakech were very ill and starving. In Essaouira you always saw some food that was left for the cats. They looked quite healthy. I saw numerous boxes like this one with many kittens. The cutest was a box which three female cats shared with their offspring. A total of 16 kittens. Unfortunately it was impossible to take a picture. They moved too much.
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed it. I might share a few pictures from Essaouira in another post.
I’ll be visiting your blogs shortly. I noticed some of you were busy.