Monday, May 31, 2010

The Road to Morocco...and Tunisia

Just a reminder: I am manipulating the times on these posts to keep them in chronological order. At the bottom of each page of posts, you'll need to keep clicking "Older Posts" to continue following along on the trip. If you want to see any photo larger, just click it. Remember, too, that you will be intermittently peppered with photos of doors and doorways, for no better reason than that I love them!

In late January, 2009, my trusty travel companion, Kit, and I set off for Tunisia, with a few days' stop in Marrakesh, Morocco on the way. Both of us had been there many years previously and were amazed to see how much it has grown. Some things never change, though, like the lovely Koutobia Mosque with its beautiful minaret, the twin of La Giralda in Seville, Spain:

More of the Koutoubia Mosque

Palais de Bahia

On to the lovely Palais de Bahia, a 19th century private palace. It has a resident stork on its tower.

More of the Palais de Bahia

Medersah ben Youssef

Founded in the 14th century, the Medersah is an Islamic school attached to the Ben Youssef Mosque and has beautiful tile work.

More of the Medersah

A typical study room:
Second floor colonnade:

A little more of the Medersah

Through the Bab Debbarh to the tanneries

Not as colorful as the tanneries in Fez, but just as stinky...

Around Marrakesh...

Around Marrakesh

Off to dinner at the Jemaa el Fna

Our carriage awaits in front of the hotel...

At the Jemaa, the central square, which turns into one huge restaurant at night. Our guide, Mustapha (front right), picked out things from a variety of stalls to feed us in style:

During the day, the Jemaa takes on a whole other character, with street entertainers, snake charmers, water sellers, shoppers, and people watchers.

Majorelle Gardens

Open to the public since 1947, the Majorelle Gardens was bought by Yves St. Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge in 1980 and restored. It is once again open to the public and is a surprisingly effective blend of serene garden space and bold colored structures: