February 24, 2013

On the road to Marrakesh...

I spent February 16-18, a three day weekend, in Marrakesh.  The train ride from Rabat took 4.5 hours, and we passed through Casablanca along the coast.  Marrakesh lies just to the east and  north of the High Atlas.  It is an interesting mixture of the traditional and modern, Berber and Arab and European (tourists and expats), desert and mountains.  The central market, where we ate twice, has street artists performing until the wee hours of the morning.

This is a photo of the square just before 7am, largely empty, but with some water remaining after the end of evening washdown. 
This is the alley from our hotel that leads to the Djeema el-Fna, the city's main square.

From the street the Hotel des Jardins de la Koutoubia is not impressive, but once inside the place is like an oasis. 
The rooftop pool with the Koutoubia Mosque's minaret in the background.
Here is a view from the roof looking down at the courtyard and pool.

A view from the hotel entrance of the Koutoubia minaret through palms in the early morning.

 After buying a carpet  in an old Saadian palace, we were escorted around the city by one of the carpet cooperative's employees (Towfiq).  We visited the old Medersa, the old religious school.  That's me in the doorway.   

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