Monday, January 25, 2010
We arrived in Marrakesh a bit frazzled after taking a 2:30 am train from Fes, and arrived at 11 Am. We arrived at our riad, decompressed a bit after some tea and consulting good map, and within the hour were back out to trek about the city. I'm splitting Marrakesh into a few posts, and will start with some of the sights we saw during daylight hours.
*please be patient during photo upload - I've specially uploaded higher-res images so you guys get extra detail! :)
I don't remember where this is - I believe the train station, which just goes to show how everything in Morocco was beautifully detailed!
Our bright pink riad was a welcoming hostel - geared towards youth.
A pretty ceiling in the riad.
Unlike Fes, Marrakesh has a large main sqaure in the Medina - Djemaa el-Fna. During the day it is full of tourists buying fresh squeezed orange juice, snake charmers, henna artists, and the like. It bothered me to see men with what I assume are Barbary apes, who for a fee will let you hold the animal and take a photo. I imagine they're captured from the wild. :(
By night the square really comes alive, and I'll share the photos with you in an upcoming post!
Below are images from the Koutoubia, the most famous monument - with it's 70m tall minaret, the calls to prayer echo across the whole city. It's a classic example of Moroccan-Andalucian architecture.
On the left you can see excavations of an earlier Almoravid mosque which was knocked down because it didn't align with Mecca.
The remaining photos are from Palais El-Badi. It's one of the most popular palaces (and now a ruin), and what "...you can see today is only a fraction of the whole as the private palaces and apartments of courtiers and family are now incorporated in the current royal palace....All that is left are the towering pis´e walls taken over by stork nests, and the staggering scale to give an impression of it's former splendour." - via Lonely Planet "Morocco," pub. 2007
The storks they mention
The massive courtyard taken from the top of the walls
What remains of the guest houses
Unfortunately the palace has been stripped bare by plundering, and all we're left with is a sense of the scale of this place.
Stay tuned for my post on the Marrakesh Medina and square my night, as well as another GORGEOUS Medersa!
*All photos taken by my boyfriend, Chris
** I am by no means an expert and after 7 days of running around Morocco please feel free to correct me if any information I give in the Morocco Series is incorrect!