le Maroc al-Maghrib, revisited

what is known as the Palmeraie in French, the Palmtree forest or woods, just outside our resort and where I went for a walk most mornings: into the wild.....thanks to the Atlas mountains water(melting snow) runs down to this spot and hence these trees can grow and agriculture is possible. The Berbers have developed an ingenious irrigation system ( more clear in other images)
to me it wasn't always obvious where public space became privately owned fields, but as can be seen in the photo above here you can clearly see the land has been tilled; below someone's rubbish all rather neatly piled up I think

close to our resort, again in the Palmeraie there was this row of houses, during the day it all looks very closed and almost uninhabited; just opposite to the house an open-air cupboard, which I thought was rather amusing

here a wall that once was a house or maybe just a boundery, below a cluster of houses; on the right behind the palm tree you can just catch a glimpse of a traditionally built mini-hammam; there'a one communal water tap for these families, we saw several women fetching water on a daily basis
the houses come with their own parking space and again rubbish is carefully stored for possible future use....
a waterless swimming pool, built for the community; ground water levels have dropped from 15 metres to 60 metres

a sudden movement at my feet: a beetle scurrying towards safety; speaking of safety in the photo's below you see the wall surrounding a wealthy family's garden - we have no idea what the stones are for, an alarm system perhaps? - in the next pic a row of houses for the not so fortunate, literally on two sides of the same street

in the souk, I really liked this stool, they are smart enough not to sell you the stuff they themselves actually use (I went in search of an unadorned teapot, like the one the shop owners themselves use, not to be found!)

in the souk you can find all manner of crafts people, in tiny i.e. 150 cm wide shops (this means you can spread each arm sideways and that's it) so here's a photo of wood turning (the wheel utensil) and painting studio and another of a blacksmith

it's very easy to get lost in the souk, we did end up wandering into tiny streets that turned out to be dead ends, but luckily there is the occasional sign

Wednesday morning we did a tour of three gardens in Marrakech; here the famous blues in the Majorelle garden 

can you spot the fake palm tree? it is in fact a radio mast
our cool garden guide Mohammed in front of a dry fountain in the Koutoubia gardens

Menara gardens with the ingenious irrigation system

Koutoubia mosque, the highest building in Marrakech, Mohammed instructed us all to take our picture from this particular viewpoint as this is the favourite image on all the postcards, well seeing as we all listen and do it, it must be, right?

another day, back in the souk: the smells, colours, textures, the bustle, the how-different-it-is-from-Northern Europe

 often it was impossible to see what exactly I was photographing (my phone/camera was too dark in the sun) so I just kept on taking pictures of the same shop, funny how the people move back and forth

 enjoying a café au lait in the shade of the Terasse Panoramique, with a suberb view of Jemaa el Fna and Koutoubia; yesterday's news yellowing in the sun  

3 May: for now just images, will add words later...

10 May: finally some words and even more images have been added, how the week has flown and with the ceaseless rain I long to be back there in the sunshine even more


Mo Crow said…
wow! Morocco!
Julie S said…
that's some kind of blue they've got there
Marti said…
Saskia, your words are always wonderful to read but in this instance, you have no need for words here as your photos have given us Morocco in the very best possible way: the colors of the land, the palm trees, doors, structures, glimpses into the ordinary that far surpass what could be wondered about or expected. The marketplace with its stalls of colorful rugs, bags, baskets, hats, bins of beans, grains, and the spices, arranged so invitingly. Your photos have given us a tapestry of this exotic place, Morocco.

Now having said that words are not needed to tell us what these photos show us, I would like to read about what foods you had to eat during your stay. I am always interested in the foods of a country. I'm imagining a tagine filled with couscous and lamb and glasses of mint tea.
Yvette said…

noord afrika....daar ligt mijn hart
ik heb in een grijs verleden arabisch geleerd omdat het me zo fascineerde

wat een mooie foto's Saskia!

en de geranium soort die je in je tuin hebt wordt zwarte weduwe genoemd..ik heb die ook en hou er van

liefssssss van de kust
Anonymous said…
wow, what a travelogue each picture more interesting than the last... somehow, even the GARBAGE looked exotic!
am SOOOOO waiting for the words...
Marti said…
Well I didn't think I needed the words but they were good to read. The intense blue walls, sky, walls, are you up or down? What did you eat?
Saskia said…
hi Marti: you're so quick! ah, what did we eat: tagines with every kind of ingredient you can imagine: chicken tagine, beef tajine, fish tagine, artichoke tajine, zucchini tagine just to name a few, beetroot salad, fried aubergines, fried peppers, roasted potatoes....farmer's cheese with runny honey, dates, figs, walnuts, olives, huge salted peanuts, in short the food was mouthwateringly delicious, lucky for us we were physically very active making for a big appetite
Marti said…
What wonderful feasting...I would have loved everything except for the aubergines, don't like them but I do like baba ghanoush.Thank you so much Saskia for telling of this,I am so full that I probably won't eat dinner tonight! And that reminds me of a story when I was in college. I was a scholarship student so I didn't have very much $. One night I was very hungry and not much in the house so I read cookbooks and after doing so, I was full...the mind is a powerful thing!
even more photographs!!! Yay!

and the method of irrigation...
same as used in traditional
gardens here.

and food food food. sigh.
jan said…
Thanks for the fantastic tour Saskia! Can only agree with everyone's comments so far! That blue; rich! Your photos; really evocative. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Almost feel I was there too! x



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