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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marrakech 14 to 15 November 2011

Left the boat before 0700hrs 14 November to find a Petite Taxi to take us to the main Agadir Bus Station. On the way to the taxi we passed an early wedding party being photographed on the Corniche
Waiting for the bus for the 3 hour trip to Marrakech .
 Ready to board the 0800hrs Comfort Plus bus from Supratours
 This is the most comfortable bus we have ever been on - instead of two seats either side of the aisle there were only three in total allowing very wide seats , reclining of course and with adjustable leg rests  - well worth the extra 50 Dhirum per seat (5 euros) - total cost 150Dhm one way.

The toll station at the beginning of the superb new motorway 

 Argan trees scattered across the arid landscape
north of the mountains there is even less vegetation 
 a few widely spaced mud houses inside walled compounds as we get closer to Marrakech
 Intense irrigation in the Marrakech plain allows large plantations of olives, oranges and other fruits
At 1100hrs we arrive at the Marrakech bus station
Our hotel for the night, the Ibis Moussafir Centre Gare Hotel couldn't be more conveniently positioned - right next to the bus station

and only a short taxi ride to the Medina, the old city centre
 After dropping off our luggage, we took a petite Taxi past the Koutoubia Mosque
to the famous Place Jemaa El Fna square
 This is a non-stop circus with all sorts of street acts including monkeys,
snake charmers and  music groups etc

The square is surrounded by restaurants, some with overlooking rooftop terraces,
on one of which we had our lunch and took the above photos

in the evening many more stalls are erected where one can eat
North of the Djemaa el Fna is a huge maze of interconnected souks with several sometimes arched entrances

All sorts of goods are sold here, all colourfully displayed - one wonders how they can make a profit as one sees so many of the same articles spread throughout the souks

Donkeys as well as small motor bikes use the narrow passages through the souks - a bit hazardous at times

Intermingled with the souks are narrow twisting passageways sometimes tunneling between the buildings

A candid camera trip through the souks:-

Heading south

to the elegant 16th century Saadian Tombs
of past rulers

and back into the streets
more passageways
many with elegant doors

We were wondering what delights might exist behind the doors when a lady in Arab dress emerged from this one and, after a pleasant chat, invited us in for mint tea
Inside was quite an enchanting surprise

with two balconied upper floors and a roof terrace - an amazing amount of space

Back in the streets
 we made our way past hanging carpets

to the relatively new, only one hundred years old, El Bahia Palace 
Inside very plain walls was another architectural delight
eleborate ceilings

Fruit garden with bananas and oranges

Back into the souks
Tagine pots
Past the Berber restaurant where we had our evening meal

to the Ben Youssef Medersa 14th century school

elegant courtyard

the surrounding window holes are from rooms where the students slept
making an irresistable photo opportunity

Access to the students rooms

one of the student rooms

The ruins of the 12th century La Qoubba Almoravid Mosque

over the road to the Musee de Marrakech
which is a 19th century Palace which is now used as a museum of contemporary art

Back in the winding streets
Past sheep skins ready for the local openair tannery - which we were going to visit but were put off by too many overhelpful "guides"
Found a delightful rooftop terrace restaurant for lunch
with superb views of the jumble of roofs of the old Medina

with glimpses of the High Atlas Mountains between the clouds - must be a fantastic sight on a clear day with the 4000 meter plus snow covered peaks

Exited the Medina a gate on the northern side - very complex exit as the passage through the 600 year old city wall went through two hairpin bends before exiting
The walls completely surround the Medina
The newer part of town to the north
Hailed a petite Taxi - and to our happy surprise found the driver to be Mustaphe - a friendly driver who had given us a ride the day before - before I had a chance to negociate the price he volunteered 20 Dhirum - the price we had arrived at after a long haggle the day before

A welcome mint tea and cake before taking the 1700hrs Comfort Plus bus back to Agadir
Back on the boat by 2030hrs after a most enjoyable two days in Marrakech

1 comment:

gerschok said...

Dat was voor ons even genieten,met prachtige foto's en prima video's.
Wat een schitterende architectuur en wat een heerlijke bonte verzameling van mensen en goederen.Geweldig.LNG