Discovery Marrakech

January 27, 2013

The next morning I awoke at sunrise to the sound of morning prayers and quickly fell back into a deep sleep. A few hours later I dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. There I found a generous assortment of hand baked breads, cakes, croissants, homemade jams, omelettes, freshly squeezed orange juice and brewed coffee. It was a lovely feast and I devoured every last bite. 

At 9am our guide, Josef, promptly arrived to show us the famous sights of Marrakech.  Our tour began at the Bahia Palace, built in the 19th century by Sultan Moulay el Hassan I's notorious Grand Vizier Bou Ahmed. Once home to a harem, it is a marvelous display of painted wood, ceramics, and symmetrical gardens. We then went on to visit Ben Youssef Medersa, a 16th-century Koran school adorned with dazzling mosaics, intricate cedar panels and religious verses carved in white plaster. Take a look at the images and you will see for yourself.

Josef also led us through the labyrinth of lanes that would guide us into the Berber markets to see the artisans hard at work crafting their masterpieces.  There I witnessed firsthand the craftsmanship and skill that goes into the creation of every handcrafted good. I also discovered my own talent for negotiating prices!

I really enjoyed learning about the intricacies of the different variations and weaves that go into the creation of each carpet. An art form that Moroccans take immense pride in, and after seeing the gorgeous selection of carpets I understand why.

After hours spent touring the bustling medina we bid good day to Josef, who as it turns out is a wonderful guide who speaks 6 languages. His great sense of humor is matched only by his great wealth of knowledge. I will be forever grateful to him for planning such a wonderful day and experience in Marrakech.

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