From Meknes we took the approximate seven hour train trip to Marrakech; as immortalised in the song, Marrakesh Express. All aboard that train!
Marrakech is known as the pink city due to the colour of the stones.
The pile of ‘rubbish’ is actually leather offcuts.
We wandered through local souks with fruit and vegetables for the Marrakech people.
And tourist souks with mini tagines for the tourists.
There was lovely architecture everywhere.
And people going about their business.
The main square in Marrakech, Djemaa El Fna, was bustling during the day.
We sat in the terrace of one of the restaurants and enjoyed a long, leisurely cup of mint tea as we watched the world go by.
We visited the Musee de Marrakech mainly to look at the wonderful building, which is more impressive than the exhibits on display. The 19th century Mnebhi Palace has a lovely inner courtyard, with bubbling fountains and seating nooks, making it a relaxing escape from the chaos of the nearby souqs.
The Medersa Ben Youseff is one of the city’s most impressive buildings and allows entry to non-Muslims. It was built by the Saadian sultan, Moulay Abdellah around 1565, and was rebuilt in the 16th century. At the heart of the medersa (Islamic school) is a light-filled courtyard with arcades down two sides, a rectangular pool in the middle and a prayer hall. Every surface has some decoration.
It’s at night when the main square really comes alive. With open air stalls selling all manner of foods, cooked on smoky fires there in the square; stalls selling freshly-squeezed orange juice; fortune tellers; tattooists; barbers; and all kinds of entertainers including jugglers, acrobats, bands, fire eaters, singers. These people all set up a light on any spare few metres of space, maybe a small mat and a few chairs and offered their services to anyone.
More photos can be found here on my Flickr pages.
We met up with the other members of the trekking group and our guide and went on to enjoy a wonderful week hiking in the High Atlas, including an ascent of Mt Toubkal.