September 16, 2002 – Marrakesh




It will be a calm day in Marrakesh because I saw too many things last year that I will take my time to relax and enjoy the city at its maximum just by wandering in the streets. I have still 2 or 3 places to visit or revisit.


I just go in the neighborhood of the Saadian tombs near Bab er Rob. The tombs are part of a necropolis from the  XVIth century next to the mosque. The decoration is meticulous and the sculptures are well done and superb. This necropolis was sealed by Moulay Ismaïl when he seized the power and instead od destroying the place like the El Badi palace, he walled up the tombs and made the mosque the only entrance. It is only in 1917 that Maréchal Lyautey asked to make a hole in the wall to have an access to the Saadian tombs.


Saadian tomb


Not far from the Saadian tombs is the El Badi Palace. It was well damaged by Moulay Ismaïl who used the palace as a  quarry to build buildings in Meknes the capital of his kingdom.


El Badi palace


I go on the new discovery of the district by reaching El Bahia palace but the palace is closed til Thursday. From this morning I am surprised by Marrakesh, it seems that the city is cleaner than last year, the streets I walked in this morning do not have the same look than last year. Maybe all these changes are due to the marriage of the King or the future film festival next week. And above all the flags in the streets give a great look to the city.


Koutoubia Minaret


I am sad to see the entrance gate closed but I remember all the good memories from the place I visited. It is really one of the best palace in Morocco. The woods are so well painted and the architecture is so well preserved that I decide to show you 2 pics from last year that depict well the place.



El Bahia Palace


I return to Djemaa El Fna by visiting the museum Maison Tiskiwin. This house was Bert Flint ones, a fine amateur of local craft who collected an impressive number of pieces. All the items are presented in different rooms of the house and are well bring out. A guidebook is given to each visitor to really appreciate what is presented.


At the end of the visit, I go back to Djemaa El Fna and directly I walk through the souks to reach the Koubba El Ba’adiyn next to mosque Ali Ben Youssef. The building is under restoration but a visit is still possible. It is one of the few Almoravid buildings still intact. The main piece is the fountain intended for ablutions. The ceiling of the fountain is very well chiseled and let us discover the Almoravid art of the 12th century.


After a brief paused on the rooftop of the Hotel Essaouira where I meet Thomas, a Swedish baba cool guy who travels a lot with his girlfriend. On Djemaa El Fna, I meet David and Maria.


Then I decide to wlk 2km to see the Menara gardens, a pleasant place right in the middle of an olive trees forest. The pool and the lodge give to the place an idyllic aspect with the High Atlas mountains just behind.


Menara Gardens


It is now the end of the afternoon and the first shows on Djemaa El Fna appear. I didn’t go to the Majorelle gardens or the Medersa Ben Youssef, two other main attractions of the city. Here are some pictures:


Medersa Ben Youssef


Majorelle gardens


Tonight I have another dinner on the square where I meet Kevin from Scotland and his girlfriend Isabelle from Canada who are seated next to me. We start talking on our trips and on our projects for the coming days. And what a surprise we intend to go to Imlil tomorrow for a trek in the High Atlas mountains. We say goodbye but with a promise to see each other in Asni or Imlil. Hazard plays his role because the probability to meet people with the same goals is very thin.


Djema El Fna becomes a big restaurant


Main expenses of the day :

Koubba El Ba’adiyn entrance fee: 10 DH

Tiskiwin entrance fee: 15 DH

Internet: 20 DH (2 hours next to Hotel Ali)

Hotel Essaouira: 25 DH on the rooftop+ 5 DH for the shower

Drinks (water, soft drinks, orange juice, tea…) + evening meal: 50 DH





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D1 : Luxembourg – Paris – Casablanca

D2 : Casablanca – Rabat

D3 : Rabat – Meknes

D4 : Meknes – Volubilis – Meknes

D5 : Meknes - Fes

D6 : Fes

D7 : Merzouga

D8 : Merzouga – Tinehrir

D9 : Tinehrir – Ouarzazate – Marrakesh

D10 : Marrakesh

D11 : Marrakesh – Imlil

D12 : Imlil – Toubkal refuge

D13 : Refuge – 4167m –Tizi Ouanoums

D14 : Tizi Ouanoums – Amsouzert

D15 : Amsouzert – Azib Likemt

D16 : Azib Likemt – Tacheddirt

D17 : Tacheddirt – Imlil – Marrakesh

D18 : Marrakesh – Essaouira

D19 : Essaouira – El Jadida – Tangier

D20 : Tangier

D21 : Tangier – Chefchaouen

D22 : Chefchaouen – Casablanca

D23 : Casablanca – Paris – Luxembourg




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Last update : January 2003

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