You didn’t get to go to Morocco, I did, so I’m sharing some of the stuff
The old bit of the coastal town of Essaouira is hunched up next to the fishing harbour and within its walls, in a back alley, these steps
Poor nations recycle
This door is in the kind of backstreet you get travel insurance for .
That blue is fly blue.
The Victorians used it in larders and potting sheds to unwelcome flies
The Atlantic slaps Morocco really hard at this point
It’s always windy and the sea boils
A real working fishing boat harbour
When you start to slow, because you are on holiday you start to notice, and see the patterns in things. Your eye starts to say:” You know what? The world, and things that man has crafted are so often beautiful “
Even lunch is beautiful ( and yes that is a fly and no, he was not alone)
So goodbye Essaouira and back in the taxi to Marrakech .
That taxi driver had seemed so well-informed and civilised but when we hit the Marrakech rush hour he proved a complete shit. He left no room for error: pedestrians, donkey carts and scooters were shown less consideration than lorries. He was like an incensed blue-bottle outraged that anyone should think they could share the road with him. “No horn,no job” was his mantra. Our route was flanked by people making internationally understood gestures at him.
On the way out to Essaouira he had stopped to allow us to take pictures of the goats feeding on the leaves and fruits of the Argan trees Thats him picking up some Argan nuts
Sweet goats aren’t they? Wonderful photo opportunity.
But, but… look closely behind each goat that’s blue baler twine isn’t it? There were two goat herds with them and they expected tips for the photo. The tree was unmissable by the side of the road and why were all the goats on the road side of this tree ?
Nothing is as it seems in Morocco, everything has to be thought about twice.
It’s no good minding that tourists are used.
It is a country of change.
The tourists want it to stay picaresque and traditional and easily accessible by Easy Jet, so it does its best to oblige.
You see Marrakesh roof tops, the old and the new
Where are we now? In the Ben Youssef Medersa in Marrakech
God that is complex
Now we are in the nineteenth century Palais Bahia much of which was built for a very fat Vizier
I suppose he just lay fatly on his couch and stared at his beautiful ceilings
Strong stuff, like Turkish delight you can only take so much, before it cloys
This is by way of a palate cleanser from the souk
And this is to remind ourselves of reality.
Disgusting but colourful.
I hate to tell you this but this is Casablanca
Yes really, I am sorry
And this is the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
Yes but post dates the film
It was built over six years finished in 1993 and 35,000 craftsmen were involved
Now back to Marrakech, but to the new town which is ugly noisy and filthy and favoured by the rich who live in gated communities of exclusive nothingness .
The honourable exception being Yves St Laurent who lived in the former house of the French artist Jacques Majorelle and restored the magical garden which is now kept by the foundation.
It’s not all Yves St Laurent styling, the palm trees do belong
and the light struts its stuff
Now one last trip, this time into the High Atlas , then I will leave you in peace
Proper Berber land
And a market
So what did I buy?
Well this is what he was selling,vintage Berber stuff ( it matched up with stuff displayed in the Berber museum in Marrakech)
So I bought myself this, so that I could pound my spices in the same bowl as another woman from a very different harder life, did sixty years ago. Its made from cedar and is as hard as nails.
And there is more I have a crate coming …
If you beg me I will show you, but at the moment it’s still bumping its way by road to London (at least, I hope it is) Otherwise its a job for Interpol