Marrakech Journals

A long weekend in Marrakesh

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A May 2002 trip to Marrakech by MichaelJM

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa Photo, Marrakech, Morocco More Photos
Quote: We were taking a holiday in Agadir when we had the chance to have a short stay in Marrakesh. The road to Marrakesh beckoned, and we had a break packed full of experiences.

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa

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Attraction | "The sights of Djemaa el-Fna"

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
Djemaa el-Fna (the square of the dead) is a huge square in the centre of Marraech. When we first arrived, it seemed no more than a convenient place to park the bus, but on our return, as the heat of the sun was diminishing, it took on it raison d’être. To begin with, we spotted the local dentist (not that I’d fancy requesting his services) with the pride of his implements spread in front of him and a virtual toothless grin at the passerby (perhaps he pulled his own teeth out!). The food stalls were beginning to prepare their gourmet offerings of tasty-looking tajines, barbequed kebabs, and some dishes we couldn’t begin to recognise. Some of the smells wafting from the square were enticing, but ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2004

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa
Medina Quarter
Marrakesh, Morocco

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa

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Attraction | "Souks"

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
We walked down the Rue Souq as-Smarrine off the northern side of Djemaa el-Fna into the labyrinth of eerie alleyways that weave themselves into the totality that is Marrakech’s Souk. There’s a cacophony of smells and noise as you progress through this colourful area, but you will have to lay to rest some of your western standards if you are not to be overly critical or indeed saddened by what you’ll see. There are young children working hard on mundane tasks, being taught the trade by family members, or holding their hand out with their soulful eyes piercing deep into your emotions. There are more signs here of poverty and grime than wealth and comfort. The noise of hammer on metal echoes round the co...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2004

Djemaa el Fna/Jamma el-Fnaa
Medina Quarter
Marrakesh, Morocco

Medersa Ben Youssef

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Attraction

Medersa Ben Youssef Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
Like most guided visitors to Marrakech, we were taken through a series of narrow, poorly lit passageways on our way to the Ali Beb Yousseff Medersa. The medersa (Koranic school) dates from 1565 and is the oldest and largest of its type in North Africa. As soon as we entered, we were struck by the tranquillity. The narrow, cool, and dark corridors were full of hushed visitors who, despite the fact that this is no longer a holy teaching establishment, seemed to be showing a high degree of reverence. And then we exited into the light, bright internal courtyard, with the sound of running water as it gushed into a vibrantly tiled pool at the centre. This space is full of beautiful mosaics and ornate...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 27, 2004

Medersa Ben Youssef
Place Ben Youssef
Marrakesh, Morocco
(044) 39 09 11

Jardin Majorelle

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Attraction

Jardin Majorelle Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
We were driven to the Avenue Yacoub Al Mansour to see the Jardin Majorelle. The French painter, Jacques Majorelle, originally designed this 12-acre garden in 1923, but the years after his death in 1962 were not kind to the site. Now Yves Saint Laurent owns the gardens, and they have been lovingly restored and replanted by him, ensuring that the original Majorelle concept has not been lost. As we approached the gardens I was unimpressed, it looks so ordinary from the outside, but we were here, so I would check out the place. Inside was a totally different story. A large variety of cacti strategically placed in front of tall palms set the scene. Could it be like one of many other gardens that we’v...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 27, 2004

Jardin Majorelle
Ave Yacoub el-Mansour
Marrakesh, Morocco
(00212) 044 30 18 52

Saadian Tombs

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Attraction

Saadian Tombs Photo, Marrakech, Morocco
Quote:
The Saadian Tombs are situated in the northwest corner of the Kasbah and are accessed by a very narrow passageway with overhanging buttresses and archways. This complex of mausoleums dates back to the late 1500s, and it was commissioned by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour. Ironically, he was the first individual to be buried here and more than 60 of his successors were to follow. In the early 1700s Sultan Moulay Ismail had the tombs sealed, and it seems as though everyone forgot about them until the early 1900s. Maps of the town had recorded their existence, so the narrow alleyway was unblocked and the tombs finally re-opened in 1917. The first thing that will strike you as you enter the small, but well-...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 27, 2004

Saadian Tombs
Next To Kasbah Mosque, Off Rue De La Kasbah
Marrakesh, Morocco