Two faces of Marrakech Part 2

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Grandad
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Two faces of Marrakech Part 2

Post by Grandad »

TWO FACES OF MARRAKECH Part 2

Wednesday, day two: Our plan today was to walk to the square, take a taxi to Bahia Palace then another taxi to Medersa Ben Youssef. I don’t walk too well so I take taxis a lot but all these three places are within comfortable walking range.

Jemaa El Fna in the daytime is a vast open plaza with fruit stalls and juice carts offering freshly squeezed orange juice. There are various entertainers and water sellers in the square, all there for the single purpose of extracting money for photographs from visitors. They will try to rip you off asking 40 or 50MAD. However I found that with a jokey attitude, 20 would be accepted with a big smile. An evening visit to the square later in the week was to see a complete transformation of this space, see later in part 3 of these notes.

A lane towards the square
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More shops appear as we near the square
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A butchers between leather shops :lol: and the early morning square
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Photo opportunity, 50 dirham he accepted 20 with a smile. Pano of the square to look very different later in the day
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Admission to Bahia Palace is just 10MAD. Built in the late nineteenth century it is a minor palace complex comprising a succession of courtyards and private rooms used by the Grand Visier and his four wives. All the rooms are decorated with zellij tilling, sculptured stucco, and carved cedar wood. (Zellij is the Moroccon style of mosaic tiling somewhat similar to the Iznik tiling found in Turkey) most impressive.

Some of the tiling detail
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This guides face intrigued me, and I couldn't resist the little lad under the fountain :lol:
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On leaving the palace and just a short walk along the road we found Place des Ferblantiers, a small square with cafes and shops around it and a lot of coming and going across the square. We sat at a corner café, had some refreshment, a light lunch and a couple of coffees just watching everything that was happening. A most enjoyable one and a half hours. There is then a long and boring story about finding where to get a taxi to our next stop. Suffice to say I did not give the unwanted guide anything.

Three shots from our 'people watching' vantage point. My short zoom has meant a heavy crop to these pictures. ;)
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The Medersa Ben Youssef is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Built in the sixteenth century it displays all the fine decorative detailing that characterises what was the golden age of Moroccon architecture. Until the 1960’s, it was a residential school for 900 children from the Muslim world sent to study the Koran. It is entirely decorated with zellij tiling, carved stucco, and carved cedarwood. The entry charge of 50MAD reflects how even more impressive this building is compared to the palace.

These show some of the very intricate zellij tiling, wall carving, and the courtyard ablutions pool
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I appreciated the lady in red looking from one of the upstairs windows
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Another unwanted guide to show us to the nearest taxi point and back to the peaceful solitude of the Riad. We had really enjoyed our two days so far. The weather was SO very agreeable, low twenties in the morning rising to low thirties in the afternoon. BUT, that Wednesday night neither of us slept well, the room temperature was 27 degrees even with the air con doing its best and the outside night time temperature was 23. It would have been cooler to take a mattress down to the courtyard.

In the morning I took the decision, with Mrs G’s full agreement, that we would move on to somewhere more comfortable and with the aid of free wi-fi, my Archos, and Booking.com, I booked us into an hotel to the north west of the city for four nights from 1pm that day. (Just 2750MAD £212 b & b)

That was my first face of Marrakech, the Medina, living in the old city……


:gg:

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Re: TWO FACES OF MARRAKECH Part 2

Post by Horus »

Looks like you were enjoying it very much and some great photo opportunities, those tiles and mosaics are fabulous. I don't blame you for changing tack and moving elsewhere, sometimes you just have to admit that you got it wrong for whatever reason and then make some changes so as not to spoil your holiday.
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Re: TWO FACES OF MARRAKECH Part 2

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Lovely photos Grandad - enjoying your trip LOTS! :) :up

Quite like all the photos of the buildings. Can't even imagine all the work that went into designing and building them way back when. So intricate.

Quite agree about the move. I'm good in the heat during the day but if and when I can't sleep 'tis time to move.

Looking forward to part 3! :D

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Re: TWO FACES OF MARRAKECH Part 2

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Lovely photos Grandad - enjoying your trip LOTS! :) :up

Quite like all the photos of the buildings. Can't even imagine all the work that went into designing and building them way back when. So intricate.

Quite agree about the move. I'm good in the heat during the day but if and when I can't sleep 'tis time to move.

Looking forward to part 3! :D

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Re: TWO FACES OF MARRAKECH Part 2

Post by Kiya »

Beautiful photos Grandad with all the detail , tiling & the intricate work thats gone into them :)

I would have been quite scared going down them little alleys especially when dark, hope to read your hotel was more suitable :)

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Re: TWO FACES OF MARRAKECH Part 2

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Just looking at all the tile work again. Really beautiful, very distinct. Any idea where the pattern(s) for the tile work derived from?

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