Marrakech


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At the end of 2007 we went for a few days to Marrakech. One of the Cities of the Kings and sun: an ideal combination for a short vacation.

 Most Marrakech Streets are dead ends

The souks take a large part of the city inside the walls. You can buy anything from vegetables and fish to herbs and spices and from Moroccan lamps and carpets to slippers. Between the souks are small streets with houses (usually with a dead end) and places where you can mend your bicycle or motorbike.

Market salesman
Lots of variation

Lamps

The Djemaa Al Fna square attracts tourists and Moroccan people looking for a good time. People tell stories and you can try to catch a bottle of Coke with an angling-rod.

 Storytellers

 Angling for Coke

And of course you can get a snake on your shoulders for a picture, get a henna-painting on your hand or buy fresh orange juice.

Narrow streets

Red houses

Marrakech houses three palaces: the Royal Palace (closed for the public), the El Badi Palace (shown below) and the Bahia Palace. The El Badi Palace is a ruin, inhabited by lots of storks. Strangely enough, the Bahia Palace reminded us of Andalusia. Of course, that should be the other way round: Andalusia is famous for the Arabian architecture.
Storks El Badi
On Friday and Sunday you can visit the Agdal gardens. To get there, you walk for about 2 kilometers south from the Royal Palace, between walls hiding orchards of olives and citrus-fruit. Finally you reach a small building. Behind it lies a water basin with a pavilion (which you can't reach because the terrace around the basin is broken in places). And in the distance you can see the Atlas mountains. And strangely enough, a lot of people come here, feed the fish in the water and talk with one another.

Agdal gardens

The Tombs of the Saadiens are the last resting place of 4 sultans and 62 members of their family. Tourists come here to see the architecture, not to pray to or for the sultans. The line is for the most important sultan, who lies in a marble case. If we had any choice, we would prefer to be a second-rated sultan in Eyüp, were people cry for you instead of staring at your coffin.

The queue

Reflections

Medersa

Finally we went to the Ben Youssef Medersa, a former school where the Q'uran was teached. You can see the rooms of the students, with an attic to sleep. The square is really beautiful, with tiles and marble decorations.

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