Christmas in Marrakech.
|We spent Christmas in the old town of Marrakech. it was quite the experience! Warm sunny weather right as we get off the plain - a nice change from Geneva!||Nice looking airport|
|For dinner, a tajine at our riad (hotel)||From the rooftop of our riad||Walking to the Museum of Marrakech and Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa. The medina is very twisty and confusing - I had to ask directions many times, being sure to only ask from shopkeepers instead of young boys, who'd want to lead us there for a tip.||Inside the Musuem of Marrakech||Inside the Madrasa - lots of cell-like rooms for the students||A lot of the little cells had micro lofts for sleeping, you could climb up on these corner ladders||This is supposedly a student setup. Did they really cook their own meals?||In the markets||This stall sells kids clothing. Very creepy to see a bunch of headless kids hanging there!||Selling baby turtles and lizards||The Jemaa el Fna (main square/market) from a rooftop restaurant||Snake charmers||On the way to the Bahia Palace, we went through the upholstery/mattress making area||Kenny kept track of how many stray cats we saw. I think he got to more than thirty some days||This fellow used his feet and a hand lathe to create handles for wood skewers.||A tassel shop||Some heavy equipment. No barriers or flaggers, you just pick a good time and run by.||Dust was in the air for a quite a ways.||Our bathroom||The kids "smoking" french fries||The kids names, written by the restaurant owner in Arabic||In the evening, this game was set up in the square. Basically, you try to get a ring around the neck of these soda bottles, which you can win. It's really difficult, but can be done - every once in a while the owner would show how it's done.||The little kids get to use a short stick, which makes it lots easier.||The street close to the entrance to our hotel||Goatskins drying close to our hotel||At the Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden featuring lots of cactus plants in the new town.||I think Peter took this one||Cactus galore! We tried to come up with descriptive names for them, like the "I need a haircut" cactus!||A tree-climbing cactus||We met Malika, our former babysitter from Morocco, for lunch.||In the Jemaa el Fna||We got a picture with these monkey guys. It was a mistake - they were rip-off artists||Moroccans listening to story-tellers||These ladies tried to sell henna tatooes||Street scenes - a gas station in the Medina. Notice the wheels on the gas pump - it's portable!||Items targeted at Moroccans are sometimes marked wtih prices, like these are - those for tourists, almost never||Christmas morning - Santa managed to make it to Marrakech!||A day trip to the Ourika Valley||Walking around a berber village||Top of a wall, covered with glass shards||A manual stone grinder||The kitchen||View from the roof||It seemed like the roof was made out of sticks covered with plastic, then dirt.||We stopped at a tourist attraction for argan oil, which is produced in Morocco. Here they're processing the argan nuts.||Our car and the driver||There were lots of these rickety bridges across the Ourika river||Walking up to the waterfall. Lots of little shops. Many tourists - it was like an ant trail!||Mint tea at the top, with the traditional fresh green mint leaves in the glass||Our guide to the waterfall.||It's amazing how much donkeys were used for transport||Dinner at a local restaurant. I assume the driver ate for free if he brought in paying customers (us).||On the way back||Some irrigation ditches||Christmas dinner back at the riad||This is from the street outside our riad, looking up at our hotel. These two windows are to the top of our hotel room. Note that they are tiny! The rooms were VERY dark.||Just outside our riad||At the Saadian Tombs. Quite crowded, not very large||This guy was manually chipping out the mosaic tile pieces, presumably for repair (and for tips)||At the Badi Palace ruins. A nice place to hang out for a few hours. Very quiet and relaxing. Storks everywhere.||It was fun playing hide and seek here||From the rooftops||Next door on a rooftop, these two kids were having a rough fight with sticks||A stall selling articles made of old tires||I thought at first these were pig heads, but I think they must be cow heads - pork is forbidden to Muslims.||In the souk||The chicken/egg market||The snail shops. Apparently they're quite popular. They were cheap too. I didn't try it, though.||Just outside our riad, there was a shop doing metalwork for bedframes, outdoor furniture, etc.||This is the tannery section, very close to our riad. What a stench!||Hair that was scraped off a hide||Walking through the Medina||Pictures taken from a horse drawn carriage. They originally asked for 600, we paid 150. Supposedly the right prices is 120.||Peter had an upset stomache||I read in my guidebook that the walls had holes in them to attach scafolding for repairs. However, I saw them being repaired with regular scafolding, not using the holes. So perhaps they're just traditional now.||Lots of areas had camels available for rides.||Dangerous intersection - this is where we saw 2 moped accidents. And that's from going by the intersection just maybe 5 times!||We bought a lot of ice creams here. It's amazing how much more likely we were to buy something if the price was clearly marked!||Guy selling butterfly costumes for kids||Headed to London - bye bye Marrakech!|