Tag Archives: marrakech

Marrakech and Tiznit

Touareg style Berber Silver Pendant

My last few days have been in Marrakech with a mad day trip to Tiznit which is the last major town before the Western Sahara. It was so worth the hours of driving. Most women were dressed in what can only be described as saris but shorter with the pallu wrapped around the head and over the face so only the eyes show. Others had on traditional skirts with white embroidered dupattas covering their hair and faces. All very different from the djellaba I had seen elsewhere. I so wanted to take a photograph but thought it too culturally insensitive. The silver was overwhelming in choice and quantity. It’s understandable but sad to see Berber families coming to sell their family silver (gold is considered evil so this is their wealth), presumably to buy the cheap “Made in China” goods being sold on the streets. I couldn’t understand the negotiations …

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Travel to Fes

Before leaving Marrakech I saw some gorgeous lamps designed by a Frenchman. Unfortunately there is so much imitation going on that they won’t let you take photos. Prices were outrageous by any standard! Apparently the only people buying are interior designers refurbishing 5 star hotels from the large American hotel chain groups.

Then it was time to take the train to Fes. This was easy enough but the train was hot and crowded and took 7 hours. On the way I got to meet a musician from Fes on his way to perform in Rabat; I was astounded when he said he doesn’t really like Fes. (I suppose you always take what you have for granted!) People are very friendly and especially so when you say you are Indian: Bollywood has done much for our public relations!

Originally I intended to visit Marrakech at the end of my trip but …

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Marrakech Madness

Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

Today I visited Riad Art Expo (now in its 7th year). I found some very nice decorative tadelakt lamps and other items, plus lovely hand embroidered towels made in the Fes style. Tadelakt is a bright, waterproof lime plaster which is found in the valley between the High and Middle Atlas Mountains; it was traditionally used on the walls of Marrakech and the underground cisterns, and became highly prized in hammams and royal palaces. More recently it has been a contemporary craze as an alternative to tiles in bathrooms in the US and Europe. It seems that every riad and dar in Morocco has tadelakt bathrooms.

Love it or hate it the heart of Marrakech is Djemaa el Fna which is a huge square in the heart of the medina. Whilst I could do without the snake charmers, the fresh orange juice, dry fruit stalls and traditional dancers are great. There are …

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