Days 38-39: Marrakech

Ah, Marrakech…a city filled with absolute wonders.  We started off our tour in the Prime Minister’s old residence.  We found a variety of fruit trees from bananas to grapefruits to lemon trees.  The architecture is just phenomenal.

I even found a bookcase that I plan on having built when I move to Morocco (you’ll see it in the photos). 

While we were in the rooms that housed the Qur’an school for the boys, my guide explained to me that the reason why the design on the walls looked like an upside down doorway, it is used to symbolize life’s up and downs.  Just trace your finger along the outside of the pattern.  You can see the symbolism as your finger runs down and then up again.  It’s a nice little lesson to teach children…that life is filled with ups and downs, which means that even when things look bad, you have to remember that it’s only a moment because life will always pick back up again.

Nice little lesson to learn from just a design on the wall, right?

One of the coolest photos that I caught was a cat in the open courtyard.  This part of the residence is closed off to tourists.  I saw one of the workers walk by and then a cat followed. The cat then sat down in the perfect spot.  I was able to take a photo of all of the columns and the cat sitting nearby. 

You’ll also find a few pictures of a gigantic nest with a big bird in it.  That is a STORK.  {A sign of good luck in some cultures.}  While we were viewing the tombs of the princes, my guide pointed to the window up above.  You could see the stork right through the window.  Talk about a rare moment.

Across the street from the tombs, we stopped into a Aux 100,000 Epices.  What I loved most about the shop were all of the jars lined up against the wall with all of the different plants in an array of colors.  It was so beautiful.

Afterwards, the guys dropped me off at Jardin Majorelle.  This was the first time they ever left me anywhere by myself.  Granted, it was a good place to recollect my thoughts and forget about what happened right before. 

Before we went to the gardens, a business owner tried to kiss me and feel me up TWICE.  Well, Driss and my guide were madder than I was when I told them what happened.  They drove me to the gardens and dropped me off.  I have no idea where they went after that. 

I was more worried they were going to go back there and take care of the problem (after I told them not to).  I was afraid I would be stuck in Marrakech with my driver and guide in jail or something…

Luckily, that’s not what happened. 

What amazes me about the photos from Jardin Majorelle…they’re the best photos of the entire trip.  My friends always say that I try to look for the beauty in the moment when I take photos.  Imagine being in a frazzled state trying to find beauty in the moment…and for some strange reason that’s all you saw (and the camera reflects it). 

Jardin Majorelle was built by Jacques Majorelle.  In 1924 he began the landscape for the gardens.  In 1947, he opened the garden to the public.  He died in 1962.  Yves Saint Laurent bought Jardin Majorelle along with Pierre Berge.  The Foundation Pierre Berge – Yves Saint Laurent continues the garden’s existence. 

You’ll find a special column in the garden as a memoriam to Yves Saint Laurent. 

What I also love about Rue Yves Saint Laurent…all of the shops along the street have a touch of fashion couture in each and every shop.  It’s very reminiscent of Sex & The City 2 when the Arab women take off their robes to reveal their high end couture clothes underneath.  Yes, I felt like jumping up and down for joy when I saw the latest lines from the Paris runways in these shops in Morocco.  Only on Rue Yves Saint Laurent!

In the souks, I was able to pick up a silver tea kettle with a Berber pattern.  The guide had the business owner throw in 3 Moroccan crystal glasses.  At another shop, a man made me a good luck charm (he’s in the pictures…he made the wooden good luck charm with his feet…it looks like a pawn chess piece).  I ended up giving the good luck charm to Driss.

I picked up a few wooden boxes with intricate designs on them.  One for me and one for one of my friends.  As a gift, the business owner gave me two wooden camels.  I kind of like the free gifts I got in Marrakech better than the items I actually paid for. 

I always like meeting the people that made the things that I bought in Morocco.  It makes the purchases even more special, because everyone has a story.  When you know the story that went into each piece you bought…it makes the piece even more special.

Here are the last of the photos from Morocco.

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