Thursday, January 5, 2017

Morocco - The Medinas of Marrakesh and Fes

Robbie, Rebecca and I spent a week in Morocco over the Christmas holidays.  Sarah had just boarded her ship in Durban, South Africa for another 10 week stint as Second Officer so couldn't join us. 

We were met at the airport in Casablanca by Miloud, our driver and guide for the week from Morocco Explored who organized our week's itinerary and hotels etc.  It was a super week and we felt well taken care of.  Throughout Morocco we were impressed by the infrastructure of roads and water systems.  We drank water in all our hotels without any problems at all. 

Our first outing was in Marrakesh and we were excited to be inside the old walls and in the market.  We got ourselves both lost and found - we had the first afternoon to ourselves and enjoyed just wandering.  There are so many little alleys with donkeys and motorcycles and scooters competing for space with the people. 

The pictures below are of Marrakesh. 
Outside our riad (hotel)

And inside!

An old water fountain used by all before the new system was installed

Courtyard in the Bahia Palace

Koutoubia Mosque

The Saadian tombs

In Fes we had another guide and were able to have an overview of the medina.  I almost think it was more convoluted inside than Marrakesh, but that may be because we didn't spend as much time in it.

The next three photos are of our Riad El Jacoub which was formerly a palace built in the mid-1600s.  The decoration and style were stunning.  And all hidden away behind an innocuous medina wall.

The tanners at work
We went to a pottery place to watch the process.  A lot of very fine work!
paints for the pottery

 Each tiny piece is cut by hand.

The pieces are laid face down and then covered with a grout/cement to produce the type of tiling pattern above.  This means that the entire design rests in the head of the person laying the tile.  Extraordinary!

The oldest school in Fes from the 1200s

 The metal workers souk

more dyeing

Sharpening knives

carpet weaving

the furnace that heats the Hammam (sauna) - he just keeps throwing in sawdust.

 In Fes, no motorcycles or cars were allowed in the medina, just donkeys.  you can see from the ramps on the stairs that this was for wagons.

The oldest water clock in the world from 1200s

I hope you have enjoyed these photos.  I will do other posts for other parts of our trip.  As you can probably tell, we loved our visit.  If you have comments about these or about your own visit there, I would love to receive them.  

1 comment:

Heather Dubreuil said...

Fabulous photos, Dianne. It seems much of your trip was focused on local craftsmanship. Look forward to the next batch.