Reflections From 2018

2018 was an especially good year for travel. I was fortunate to be able to travel somewhere fun almost every month, both in the US and overseas. Many of the locations were new to me, including a new continent-Africa. I also revisited some of my favorite cities-London, Istanbul and Washington D.C. I have written about my experiences for many of these destinations-but some are still sitting in my draft que, waiting to be finished (one of the resolutions for 2019 before I start traveling again).

Continue reading “Reflections From 2018”

PhotoPOSTcard: In Majorelle Garden

The Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh was  created by French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920’s. The garden’s is famous today though because it was purchased and restored by Yves Saint-Laurent in the 1980’s. Regardless of of its high profile owner, the garden is a visual treat. Cobalt blue accents are a punctuation of color amid the green and silver foliage. That particular shade of blue was developed and patented by Jacques Maorelle and is named after him – Majorelle blue.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: El Badi Palace Refelction

The El Badi Palace in Marrakesh, Morocco was built in the late 16th century by Sultan Ahmad Al-Mansur, and was supposedly built and decorated with the most expensive materials of its time. The complex is believed to have had as many as 360 rooms built around a large central courtyard that contained a large pool. Subsequent rulers from other dynasties later stripped the palace of all its grandeur, so that today it sits as a romantic looking ruin that is home to storks and tourists.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Storks in Marrakesh

An unexpected sight in Marrakesh, Morocco are the resident storks that nest on the high walls of the ruins of Badi Palace. They seemed completely unperturbed by the many tourists milling about below them.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

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

A Day in Essaouira, Morocco

On a recent visit to Marrakesh, I had the opportunity to experience a private day trip to the nearby coastal town of Essaoura. I was surprised to find that Essaouira was so much more relaxed and laid back than Marrakesh. Even with a short day in Essaouira, I discovered that its beach vibe felt more akin to being in the Caribbean than on the African coast.

Continue reading “A Day in Essaouira, Morocco”