Marrakech - Day Two written 9 years ago

white Flower at The Jardin el Hati

We had planned for today to be spent visiting the three major tourist attractions in Marrakech - The Saadian Tombs, El Badi Palace and The Bahia Palace, but after such a busy first day we were rather sleepy and by the time we had left the Riad it was time for these attractions to close for a rather leisurely 3 hour lunch. So to kill the time we thought we would slip in a visit to the Majorelle Gardens for a couple of hours. In the end we spent most of the day there, soaking up the beautiful well maintained floral displays and enjoying the relaxing oasis.

Majorelle Gardens

1Those colours again
1. The colours of the
gardens.RDI

Smiling and looking hopeful we managed to get the attention of a passing Taxi driver, some poor negotiating on my part got us a reasonably priced journey (of terror) to the dusty road that lead to the gardens. Wandering down this unsuspecting road we came to the end and found the portal to the Gardens, and much like everywhere in Marrakech one mustn’t judge a place by its surroundings.

2Pots
2. Coloured Pots. SJW

The Majorelle Gardens were created by French artist Jacques Majorellein 1924. The Garden prominently features a unique shade of cobalt blue, named after the garden’s creator - Majorelle bleu. This colour is daubed liberally on much of the surfaces around the gardens, along with the garden’s own flavour of green and yellow, creating quite a lasting impression of the style of the gardens.

We were instantly impressed by the imposing style of the gardens: tunnels of bamboo lead us into the garden’s centre, passing windows of light illuminating small pools of water and fountains. Towering palms provide a habitat for hundreds of tiny birds that create a relaxing soundtrack.

The central pool contains a feast of nature on display: fish, frogs, turtles and birds all sitting about for the picture-taking of.

The most impressive part of the gardens is how they maintain such a distinction of calm inside the garden walls. The outside is such a mle of excitement and activity that it is instantly refreshing to be inside and shielded from the goings on of the outside world.

3Reflection 4King of the Hill 5Pebble Cactus 6Cactus 7Green Ceiling
3. The central pool; RDI
4. The turtles enjoyed sitting on each other’s heads; RDI
5, 6. Cactii; SJW RDI
7. The green ceiling shielding us from the sun. SJW
8Blue and Yellow 9Cocktail
10Bee 11Green Walls 12Blue Stairs 13Bathing 14Red and Yellow 15Majorelle Gardens 16Glowing
8. Blue Stairs; SJW 9. Cocktails from the cafe; SJW 10. Bee on orange flower; RDI
11. Bamboo walls; SJW 12. Blue Steps; SJW 13. Birds bathing; RDI
14. Red and yellow; RDI 15. Pretty Scene; RDI 16. Glowing plants in the sun. RDI
17Sarah and Rob
17. We managed to find a quiet corner, and risked much camera pilfering to take a nice photo.

Gueliz

18Banana Split
18. Rob enjoys his
banana split. SJW
19Repeating
19. La place du
15 Novembre. SJW

After the relaxing environment of the gardens we had obviously forgotten the terror of trying to cross roads in Marrakech, and took a walk down to the Gueliz area of Town. This is an upmarket area of the city, and houses the posh hotels and is altogether a bit more civilised — this is the area of town in which the McDonalds resides.

We had a wander, got an ice-cream, saw a moped crash, crossed some roads.

We eventually found the “place du 15 Novembre” at which we had a sit, and mused what might have happened on the 15th of November.

Jardin el Hati

A short 4 road crossings later we found the Jardin el hati, and had a wander around. The guide book informed us that the star attraction was a giant blue dinosaur. We found said dinosaur, and yes it’s impressive. Another pretty garden in Marrakech, showing off the excellent botanical skills of the local gardeners, as we see all sorts of plants growing that require a hot-house to grow in the UK.

This area of town affords a nice view of the Mountains in the distance without so many buildings in all directions. We mused over the Atlas mountains in the distance — this would be our destination for tomorrow.

20Jardin el Hati 21Red Balloon 22Blue dinosaur 23Stripes of Colour 24White Flower 25Fountain 26Mountain View
20. Fountains and bathing birds; RDI 21. Playing Girl; SJW 22. The famous blue dinosaur; RDI
23. Colours in the gardens; SJW 24. White Flower; RDI 25. Fountain; RDI 26. Marrakechis enjoy things in straight lines — If you view the full size image you can just squint to see the mountains in the distance. RDI

Jamaa el Fna sur le nuit

After a quick nap back at the Riad (being woken up at 5am was starting to take it’s toll on me), we embarked on an exciting evening out — to the square at night.

Rob Sarah
The bewildered face of Rob,
and the calm of Sarah

We departed to the square, and found the streets to be just as busy as the daytime - retailers were still open in the town, selling a multitude of electrical goods and other whatnot. Restaurateurs were out in force hoiking unsuspecting patrons through their doors.

The square has now much changed, large groups of locals are gathered round performers of all types, singing, dancing, wrestling snakes and suchwhat. Adjacent to this activity we find that half of the square has turned into a gigantic outdoor eatery. Pottering around this area yields lots of calls for “Monseur, Madame!” “Jamie Oliver yes, Sainsburys Taste the difference, Number 87 the Square!” “Gordon Ramsey, Hells kitchen yes?!”.

27Koutoubia by Night 28No. 1 Jamaa el Fna 29Jamaa el Fna by night 30The Glow
27. Koutoubia Mosque; RDI 28. Our chosen eatery; SJW
29. The rows of eating stalls; RDI 30. The glow of the square. RDI

We stopped of at the “Patisserie des Princes” for some lovely cakes, and headed back to our Riad, once again sleepy from the days events.

Nous Riad sur le nuit

Our Riad was quite pretty, and nicely illuminated at night, much like lots of Marrakech. The hotel was just in the centre of a rather poor area of town, so the walk to the hotel is quite raw Marrakech. A rose in the thorns, some might say…

31Hotel Courtyard by night 32Our Street 33Derb
31. The Hotel central Courtyard; SJW 32. The Street off which our Hotel was; RDI
33. Our “Derb” (Narrow street connecting houses). RDI

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 Comments 1 comment made

Some very nice pics Rob! xxx

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