Friday, April 21, 2017

palais bahia

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On the last day of our family & friends trip to Marrakech, we visited Palais Bahia.

Bahia Palace is a palace with lush walled gardens and pavilions, located in the medina of Marrakesh.

It was built in the late 19th century, intended to be the greatest palace of its time.
The name means "brilliance" and was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style.
Painted wooden doors and ceilings and beautiful tiles everywhere.
One of the best elements of the Bahia Palace is the large courtyard, tiled with white marble and zellige tiles.

The oldest part of the palace (Dar Si Moussa) is my favorite, with a courtyard and a central garden with several fountains and cypress, orange, jasmine and banana trees. You should smell the orange blossom...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

bab ourika

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Getting to the Ourika river from the city takes about an hour by taxi.
From there to exquisite Kasbah Bab Ourika, through Berber villages and along bumby mountain roads is a spellbinding journey.
The road ends on the top of the hill with an amazing view on the Ourika valley at the foot of the High Atlas mountains.
Behind the high fortress wall, you find paradise.
An amazing hotel and restaurant around two courtyards. On the tables you will find fresh flowers from the garden.
The terraces offer great views of the valley and the snow-capped mountains.
When you walk to the end of the garden, you end up in the vegetable garden, it's stunning!
Every time I visit this place, I feel so happy. This time it was even more special, because I brought my family and friends.

We had a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

oued ourika

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It has become a tradition to make a stop at the Ourika river when we are on our way to the Atlas Mountains.

To take a foot bath in the icy meltwater from the mountains for enthusiasts. Our brave friend Jeroen even walked to the middle of the river.
Also a visit to the dear old merchant, where I once bought my first moroccan tajine and some plastic laundry baskets, for the large terracotta pots in our garden. This time I found a beautiful brightly colored flat berber basket.
There's always a lot of activity in the town along the Ourika river. It is the last place to buy 'whatever' before you go into the mountains.

After a short stop (for a foot bath, some shopping and a mother-son portrait), we all got back in the minibus for a bumpy ride to our final destination Kasbah Bab Ourika, in the mountains.

Monday, April 17, 2017

modern marrakech

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After a slow Sunday in the desert, we took a taxi ride in an old yellow Mercedes to Guéliz on Monday morning and started with an espresso on a bamboo sofa at the popular Grand café de la Poste.

We walked back to the Medina through the Cyber Park. You might not associate 'cyber park' with a park from the mid eighteenth century. The park is a fascinating experiment in mixing old and new and re-opened in 2005 as a public park. The name Cyber Park is only about the deal that Maroc Telecom would pay for the refurbishment and upkeep of the park, in exchange for the commercial right to exploit part of the site as a multi-media and cyber-space exhibition area and theatre. It's one of the many urban gardens in Marrakech and part of the Green Gardens workshop.

Once we returned within the ancient walls of the medina, we had lunch at the enchanting Hotel El Fenn. (which deserves its own blog post, shortly...)