1 Oct 2014

It's those Moroccan tiles, man!

Back to Marrakech! Did I tell you I generally don't like big cities? Well, now you know. Thank dude-in-the-sky for Hassan, our driver. I told him where we wanted to go on the way back from Essaouira, and he just took us straight there, avoided the whole map-in-hand-wandering shenanigans. Rome is a city to get lost in, Marrakech is not. Not really.

We wandered Jardin Majorelle and Palais de la Bahia (my French was "oui, merci" better after 8 days in Morocco) all within an afternoon. If you have more time, please do visit all other sites. I'm sure they're all fantastique, but as we wanted to spend as much time on the road as possible,  we really skimmed it in Marrakech. Sorry, big M. 

Majorelle Garden is named after the French artist who designed it. Most people would probably know the garden as Yves Saint-Laurent's favourite place where his ashes were scattered. I don't blame him. The place is absolutely stunning. 

This is the square outside the garden. The contrast between the lush green tree and the red-ish mud wall was harsh and bright in direct sunlight. It smelled of dry earth. 

As soon as we stepped through the door, we were greeted with cool Morrocan tiles at our feet, a fountain that was sparkling in the sun, and the amazing sound of bamboo leaves rustling against each other. 

The garden was a collection of amazing flora and fauna (totally stole the phrase from my nature man), all green and lush in the African sun, against the stunning backdrop of the buildings and walk-way painted in primary bright colours. 

Everything was vivid, vibrant and sharp, yet romantic and calm. Apparently, it can get really busy during peak season. You'll find yourself collectively sweating with other tourists in quite an intimate manner. Luckily for us, the place was almost empty when we were there. 

Another word of advice: do not travel during peak season. Go toward the beginning, or the end of the season, or off season completely. Morocco's heat in June was fine, the country was still beautiful and we had everything to ourselves. Look!

Ignore my weird hair twisting gesture and his sleepy face, please. I just want to show you the place. 

This absolutely beautiful blue water canal system with water lilies runs through the whole garden, stopping here and there to make a small pond ... and wait ... there were koi fishes! Mr. Mackey got pretty darn excited he can finally dunk his GoPro in the water. 

Right outside the Garden was the shop that I noted down in my notebook as "must visit". Yes, you guessed it - it was a Perfumery (sort of). This one is called Heritage Berbere. Looks like their website is down, so here's their Facebook page.

We purchase 2 bottles, 1 unisex called Lup31 and one Heritage Berbere's own brand mens cologne. I wrote a review for Lup31, but haven't got around to write about the other one yet. I will though, as Mr. Mackey's been wearing it alot recently and I've come to love it. 

Chuffed with our purchase, we headed to Bahia Palace for a quick tour. No, no trees here. Lots of cats though. I thought Essaouira had lots of cats. This place was filled up with lazy kitties lying around half dosed off in the shade, trying to steal a nap in the blazing heat. They weren't in the palace, just sort of outside along the walk way. At this point, I got a little emotional because I missed our kitty at home. 

If I could describe the place in one word, that'd be: "tiles". Moroccan tiles everywhere. (What did I expect, duh!). Needless to say, it was beautiful. The floor, the ceiling ..

The fireplace

More floor (somehow my scarf was a perfect match, bonus!)

Even more floor. 

Oh, here are one of the many doors.

and windows

even the metal grids .. *sigh*

And here's a random shop outside the palace. Guess what, it was decorated with even more tiles. 

I will tile my future courtyard with Moroccan tiles so hard! Who wouldn't. 

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