A peaceful place in Marrakesh

20151027_100631.jpgLast October I went to Marrakesh with my sister and my mother. I found the city really interesting (cf blogpost: things to do in Marrakesh) but also really stressful. I am spending a lot of time in Paris and people say this is a stressful city…Marrakesh is 9 times worse! But when you are  going a little bit outside of the city center you can find some peace and it’s really enjoyable.

The Majorelle garden was created during the 20s by the french painter Majorelle. He came into Marrakesh in 1919 and fall in love with the city. He found in Marrocco a source of inspiration as he never knew before.

20151027_102559.jpg

 

In 1924, the painter decided to create this garden with a multitude of rare seems and draw the fountains. A color is really important in its garden which you can find everywhere “the blue Majorelle”. After a long time after his death, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought the garden and helped to re built it as it was before.

 

IMG_0346.jpgThis garden is amazing! Even if it’s touristic if you are going early enough in the morning you should appreciate its beauty. The blue on the monuments is giving to the garden a special atmosphere. A lot of different species of cactus are represented. Some are with weird shapes other are bigger than a house!

Inside it, you can find the Berber museum which is  interesting and allow us to understand better the Morrocan culture. You can see national dresses, jewels, objects and this is not boring!!! Indeed, I did a lot of museum with old objects and it was really tedious. There the scenography was beautiful and highlights the exposition.

To sum up: a little place of peace into Marrakesh which help you to take a new breath and go back in the city!

 

Advertisements

8 things to do in Marrakesh

  1. The palace El-Badi

This is one of the first things that I saw when I arrived in the city. This palace had the purpose of receiving amazing parties with more than 360 rooms and beautiful gardens, fountains and flowers around 1578. The saadiens destroyed the palace years later and now just ruins remains. In a dark room, you can imagine how it was before with a reconstituted movie. If you are looking on the top of the structures a lot of starks have their nest. The palace is still a great place to see and is interesting if you like the history of Morroco. (Picture: cf main picture).

 

2. Saadien tombs

20151026_110710.jpgJust next to the Palace El-Badi the Saadien tombs are not like a cemetery! The place is beautiful and the architecture looks like the Alhambra in Spain. You can see different rooms used to pray or buried family. One of them is for buried the family, another one for children and the last one for the Sultan wifes. The graves are not as stern as in our countries: they are green, white, red, blue, yellow… It’s not a heavy atmosphere and it’s more like a touristic thing to do.

 

 

3. Getting lost

In Marrakesh even if you looked on the internet, have 10 different maps of the city you are going to be lost in the Merida. The city center is like a maze and it’s really hard to find your way in one time. Do not panic and take your time! You can ask to the local population but for most of them, they don’t know where you are going and they tell you something wrong. For others, they are guiding you to some place which is not what you’re looked for and ask you some money. Take a map with you, ask to people while being careful and you’ll find the good way some day 🙂

 

4. The Koutoubia

20151026_172343.jpgThe Koutoubia is one of the main symbols of the city. This is a masterpiece of the Hispano-Mauresque art with 17 naves which make this mosque one of the biggest in the world. The garden around the Koutoubia is not really beautiful. One of the things we did and which was really amazing was to go on the roof of a restaurant, have a drink and watch the sunset on the Koutoubia which was lit. It was such a nice moment! (cf picture in photo spread about Marocco)

 

 

5. Eat

IMG_20151026_150131.jpgMorrocan food is well known to be one of the best in the world. This is true! There is such a variety of spices, fruits, vegetables that make every meal delicious. When you go there try as many food as you can like: tajine, couscous, marka, msemmens (Moroccan crepes), Batbout (Moroccan bread), mint tea, Morrocan pastries…. If I have to give you one place to eat is the “Café Clock”: the food is amazing, the place really charming, everything is for the best !! (224, derb Chtouka, http://www.cafeclock.com)

 

6. The palm grove

IMG_0593.jpgThe last day, we went on the red bus to do a last tour of the city. One of the tours was great because it was outside of the city center and we saw the new Marrakesh. Indeed, the city center is really typical and traditional but Marrakesh is also a city which is growing and modernizing. After been there, we saw the palm grove which was again another face of the city. The landscape is mainly made of palm tree, sand and camels. You can stop and do a camel ride. We didn’t do that because few years ago we did it and I was bit by a camel at the leg, it was pretty bad…. Anyway! The palm grove was created by Youssef Ben Tachfine in order to irrigate the water. After a sickness of the palm trees, promoters bought a lot of land to build hotel and villas. In 2007, the Mohammed-VI foundation for the environment, tried to stop these constructions. Nowadays, the goal is almost complete!

 

7. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride

20151027_155339.jpgThis is a fun thing to do! Take a horse at the place Jema-el-Fna and do a tour of the city center. Even if you already saw the city I just enjoyed to do it. We laughed a lot about how my mum was scared in the carriage and it was a nice moment I wanted to share.

 

 

 

IMG_0560.jpg

8. The palace Bahia

This day, I was so sick that I didn’t enjoy as I could this palace but even ill I knew it was beautiful.This palace is one of the most conserved in the city. This palace has an incredible architecture, amazing gardens, flowers, is really colorful. This is one of the best thing I saw in Marrakesh!!

 

 

 

 

Cooking Moroccan food

Beginner or advanced people can make Moroccan food during an entire day and impress their family when they come back! The Moroccan food is one of the best food in the world. The gastronomy is mainly made with chicken, spices, tajine, couscous etc.

If 20151028_135452.jpgyou want to learn how to cook Moroccan food, a lot of Riads are proposing it but it’s really different from other organisms that offer you a real private lesson as I did. We went to “Faim d’épices” in Marrakesh and met around 10 other people from other countries that spent the day with us. You can choose your day in order to learn different kinds of meal (couscous, chicken tajine, fish tajine…)

20151028_101626.jpgThe director and supervisor is speaking French and English and explained us a little about Moroccan food. Then, we played a game of guessing spices. Blindfold we had to guess which spice we could smell.

 

IMG_0509.jpgAfter this little introduction, we made our own bread (Batbout), lemon chicken tajine and finally some Moroccan crepes (Msemen). Each people had his own utensils, ingredients and workplace to do his meal. At the end of the preparation, we ate our meal and enjoyed the peaceful place.

At the end, you are leaving with a little bag of spice and also recipes to do it at home. For more information: http://faimdepices.com/

 

If you want to try at home how to do the main course here the recipe:

For 4 people: Ingredients:IMG_0508.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken of 1,4 kg
  • 40g of crystallized lemons
  • 150g of red olives
  • 275g of onions
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 30g of rancid butter
  • 0,7g of Safran
  • 4,2g of ginger
  • 15g of fresh coriander
  • 13g of garlic
  • 180 ml of water
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

  • Clean the chicken with water and cut it in pieces.
  • Slice thinly the onions and garlic
  • Chop the coriander and the crystallized lemon
  • Do a marinade with spices, coriander and lemon.
  • Put the chicken into the marinade
  • Chop the onions into the tajine at lively fire
  • Add 180ml of water
  • Let it cook during 40minutes
  • When the chicken has cooked, remove it and add the olives and the rancid butter until it’s boiling.
  • Put the chicken into the tajine and let it few minutes before  eating it

 

 

Moroccan life

IMG_0582.jpg

Some sweeties and seeds that you can eat or just admire.

 

 

20151026_175804.jpg

Panoramic view  with the Koutoubia

 

 

IMG_0570.jpg

Modernity /vs/ old transport mode

 

 

IMG_0254.jpg

Prickly pear in the streets

 

 

IMG_0528.jpg

The cat’ street

 

IMG_0600.jpg

Living in the palm grove.

 

Credits : Tina Meunier