PhotoPOSTcard: Morocco’s Zellij Tiles

Throughout my wanderings in Marrakesh, I saw the characteristic Zellij tile decoration. Whether it was a museum, an old restored historic building or in the narrow lanes of the Medina, this typical Moroccan mosaic tile work in shades of blue, tan and green was prevalent. The combination of small hand chiseled tiles laid in intricate geometric patterns seemed infinite. I definitely got a few ideas for a quilt or two.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Menara Gardens, Marrakesh

I found the Menara Gardens in Marrakesh to be a lovely place to get away from the tourist crowd and stroll through the gardens with the locals. The garden is centered around a large reflecting pool that is especially scenic at sunset when the distant Atlas Mountains are reflected in the still waters.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: The Jewish Cemetery in Marrakesh

In 1492 Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus sailed off in search of a better route to India and in the process discovered the new continent of America instead. That same year, Spain expelled all of its Jewish population, many of who sailed across the narrow strait of Gibraltar to nearby Marrakesh, Morocco where they were welcomed by the Sultan. The Sultan set aside an area in the city for the Jewish community of about 35,000 Jews and also established a cemetery in 1537. Though no longer actively used, the cemetery is being maintained and refreshed with contributions from visitors. One of the saddest aspects are the many small white tombs that mark the burial of over 7000 children that died of Typhus.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Modern Transport in the Marrakesh Medina

Besides motorcycles and mopeds, the other mode of wheeled transportation in the old Medina area in Marrakesh is the donkey pulled cart. The lanes and alleyways are narrow and large motorized vehicles can’t fit. So if you have to haul a large quantity of stuff through these passages, a donkey and cart will do the work, just like they did in the 11th century when Marrakesh was built. In this case, the load is leather hides that have been processed the old fashioned way by men thigh deep in water treated with pigeon poop .

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: This is Marrakesh

For me, this photo summarizes my Marrakesh experiences in the Medina – the old, historic district of the city. Colorful carpets for sale hanging on the ocher colored walls that are characteristic of all the buildings in Marrakesh. The Zellij  tiles that decorated so many of the Moroccan buildings. And the ubiquitous mopeds that I had to constantly dodge and avoid as I wandered the old lanes of the Medina.  Marrakesh was a colorful and noisy assault on all my senses.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: In Essaouria, Morocco

Essaouira sits on Morocco’s Atlantic coast and has a laid back beach vibe that feels a little more Caribbean than African. The city’s ramparts, which were built in the early 1500’s by the Portuguese, protected the natural harbor from invaders, and also provided a sanctuary to the pirates that at one time set anchor here. Today Essaouria is known for its music and arts scene and the ramparts are a draw for photographing tourists.

Please note that my visit to Essaouria was hosted by Time Out Marrakesh. All content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

Rockin’ the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco

Visiting the UNESCO heritage site of Ait Bn Haddou was a stop on my three day trip to the Sahara from Marrakesh, Morocco. Ait Ben Haddou is a well preserved and restored example of a ksar, that is, a collection of traditional earthen houses surrounded by a defensive wall and protective corner towers. Here is my experience of Ait Ben Haddou in photos.

Continue reading “Rockin’ the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco”

PhotoPOSTcard: A Living Movie Set

On the way to the Sahara desert, we made a brief stop at the Ait-Ben-Haddou UNESCO site. The site is recognized as a great example of a ksar, a collection of earthen dwellings built behind defensive walls which are reinforced by angle towers. At one time, the village was part of a thriving commercial trading route between the Sudan and Marrakesh. Today however, the site has been abandoned except for tourists, hawkers selling their wares, and the film industry. The guides make sure to let you know that the movie Gladiator and scenes in The Game of Thrones were filmed here.

My Sahara Desert experience was hosted by Merzouga Luxury Desert Camps. All content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

PhotoPOSTcard: Hospitality in the Sahara Desert

Adorable four year old Hisna and her grandfather Mbarek treated us to hot Moroccan tea under their low slung tent as we toured the Moroccan Sahara desert. The tent was basically a large cloth supported by posts under which the family had placed many cushions and a few round tray tables. Hisna’s family are Berber nomads who live the six colder months in the desert and then move with all their belongings to the mountains for the six warmer months. Like most little children, Hisna was initially shy in our presence, but then quickly warmed up to us, eventually going round and giving everyone kisses. Meeting this family and sharing their hospitality was a truly unique and humbling experience.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

 

PhotoPOSTcard: A Sahara Desert Sunset

The sunset in the Sahara desert was pretty spectacular also.

My Sahara desert experience was hosted by Merzouga Luxury Desert Camps. All content is my own.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose