Jun 12, 2019

More of Marrakesh

Yesterday was another warm and sunny day with 88F/31C.  We walk in the shade as much as we can.  Strangely in the evening as the sun is setting  the winds pick up and it becomes very cool.  Enough for me to wear the warmest clothes I have and for Colin to put on his thick fleece hoodie.  Overall I would have to say that prices are expensive here. We thought that they would be less even with the back and forth bargaining yet even then things seem to cost the same as in Seville.  Another observation we made is that there are no dogs around, not even being walked on leash.  However there are cats all over, meowing pitifully for food and for affection.  It was another walking day.

This guy had four snakes with their heads up and was getting this large one out of the box.

We also walked though the Jewish market which has a different feel plus the vendors are more aggressive.

Display made of dried cactus flowers.

Usually we are pretty good at evading being drawn into a shop but we got caught here.  It started out by this young man telling us the the Badi Palace, which was right behind his families shop was closed because of  a festival preparation.  The next thing we knew we had been told about all the spices and herbs and served tea. I bought some Arabic curry to facilitate our exit.

The snake charmers in India put on a better show.

This one was trying to get away.

We spent a few hours visiting the Bahia Palace, supposedly the most extraordinary imperial relic in Morocco.  It was built  at the start of the 19th century for Is Moussa, the then chamberlain of Sultan Hassan 1.  The interior is a labyrinth of passages with reception halls, court after court, garden beyond garden, private apartments and more all stretching over 20 acres of ground.  The position and location of the Palace does not allow for an exterior photograph.  Sadly, for the high cost of 70MAD/6.45EUR/9.70CAD there was not much to see as the place is not being kept up. The painted walls are dirty, half the lights don’t work, the tiles are chipping, 98% of the fountains don’t work, there has been no restoration and the painted doors are being touched by so many people that they won’t last much longer.  Unlike Alhambra and other cathedrals we have been in over the past weeks there are no guards to be seen.  What are they using our entrance fees for?

The ceilings are made of cedar and painted. They are mostly in great shape but it is difficult to see most of them because the lights are not working. We saw a few dangling lightbulbs here and there.

There are many styles of architecture featured throughout the palace.

Lovely painted ceiling and ceramic work on the walls.

It was still a beautiful place to visit, we can only imagine how it would have looked back in the day before it was ransacked.  After a break back in our apartment, we added heavier clothing and headed back to Djemaa el Fna to see the sunset and of course observe the chaos and noises as everyone gathered.

We were two stories up ( yes I climbed those stairs ever so slowly ) and at a different end of the square from the night before so things looks different.

This was taken earlier in the morning. Note the reddish brown street area.

This was taken just after 5PM. Food booths are being set up under those green covers.

And here, just before 9PM and the sunset, that area is swarming with people.

 

After dinner we went walking through the crowds.  Most of the booths are selling fish or sausages, these are cooked sheep heads for the most discerning.

This was the closet we got to a belly dancer. Once she saw the camera she ran through the crowd to demand money from us.  We gave her some, what we have read is sufficient, but it wasn’t enough for her.  We did not give her more.

I stopped to buy a few apricots, one of my favorites.

We had only been back at our place a few minutes when our host offered us a plate of cantaloupe. Cantaloupe as you have never tasted, sweet like candy.

So ended another long day.  We have one more full day here.

 

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “More of Marrakesh”

  1. George Yates says:

    Lots of wonderful sites to see and enjoy, thanks for sharing your memories.

  2. What a cool set of night shots!

  3. Rae says:

    Your posts are really making me regret not making more of an effort to go to Marrakesh. I haven’t seen any of the food I would have expected yet — all the lovely couscous and tajines of North Africa.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in Marrakesh. Those photos of the markets make me think of the wonderful bazaar in Sarajevo!

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