2010-05-22 -- Marrakech

Today we enjoyed a Royal Hammam followed by a Tadelakt massage (so says the spa booklet; 120 minutes, 1500 MAD). As far as google is telling me, tadelakt is a style of plaster: "Traditionally, tadelakt is produced with the lime of the area of Marrakech".

After lunch, and after Steve and Judy and G finally arrived, we took a nice bus/walking tour of Marrakech. Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Majorelle Gardens, The Souks (the market), and finally, Djemaa El-Fna (the square).

About Majorelle Gardens: Jacques Majorelle, son of celebrated furniture maker Louis Majorelle, was born in Nancy, France in 1886. It was in 1919 that he first came to Marrakech to continue his career as a painter. He acquired land in 1924 and began the landscape which is known today as the Majorelle Garden. In 1947 he opened the garden to the public, a tradition that continues to this day. Following a car accident in 1962, Jacques Majorelle retuned to France and shortly thereafter passed away.

The Majorelle Garden is one of the twentieth century's most mysterious gardens. It is a place of rare individual expression and myustical force. The garden is an overpowering abundance of vegetal shapes and forms representing five continents and reflects Jacques Majorelle's significance as one of the most important plant collectors of his time.

Jacques Majorelle's garden is perhaps his greatest oeuvre, a true work of art that continues to capture, mesmerize and enrapture the visiting public. Since acquiring and restoring the property, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge have established a trust to ensure Majorelle Garden's future existence.

Dinner was at a Riad, ... (to be filled in later)


Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 65.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/11.3, ISO 100
The Koutoubia Mosque in Marrahech, Morocco.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 75.0 mm; 1/100 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
An orange tree outside the Koutoubia Mosque. Lots of orange trees in Marrakech.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 45.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/4.0, ISO 100
A cacti (and hat?) just before the El Bahia Palace.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
If you learn one thing about El Bahia Palace, it is that ceilings are ornate.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/5 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Looking up from the edge of an archway. The top of the picture is the wall of the arch.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Looking down one of the rooms in El Bahia Palace.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/80 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/8.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 82.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200
Spices for sale on the walk back from El Bahia Palace.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 73.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200
Thread for sale on the walk back from El Bahia Palace.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Majorelle Gardens.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 80.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 47.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
Candle jars.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 75.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
Candle jars.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 60.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
Candle jars.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
In the souks, we stopped at a store that sold almost everything, but the focus was on clothing. Here, a collection of womens slippers.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/8 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/60 sec, f/7.0, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 45.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 50.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 88.0 mm; 1/25 sec, f/6.4, ISO 200
I'm getting (slightly) better about taking photos of people, though I'm still rather shy.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/15 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600
Walking near the end of the souks, a solitary ray of light.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600
A couple images to give the flavor of the souks. Crowded and dim.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600
A couple images to give the flavor of the souks. Full of people. This particular alley led directly to the square, and so was possibly filled with slightly adventurous tourists. We took an alternative route.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/80 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/160 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600
A game of soccer that someone called to end when we approached. Too bad, I was hoping to get some action.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 95.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/6.4, ISO 1600



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 84.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 45.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
Dad, the snake charmer.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 84.0 mm; 1/1600 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
Mmmmmm. Dried figs. Both tasty, and full of pattern.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/2500 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
The Marrahech Dentist. Lots of teeth. For sale? I didn't get a picture of the guy, but this pile of teeth was spread out on a table before a guy. The guy also had some old and scary looking dental equipment. I'm guessing he is selling the service of pulling teeth, which he then displays before him. Next to the teeth were some dentures, too.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 85.0 mm; 1/1600 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400
A random snipe; a guy on a bike loaded with trinkets for sale. If you look close, you'll see a few Rubiks Cubes.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/7.0, ISO 400
One of our two guides (as I write this, his card in the plane, but will fill in details later). He did a great job of keeping the group together, even when someone stayed a little behind to look at something.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/15 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Dinner was quite a production. First, we gathered in the open area for drinks.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 0.3 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Then we had a bit of entertainment (I got some bad video on the point-and-shoot camera, but didn't have any real equipment with me).



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/60 sec, f/2.7, ISO 400
Then we moved to the dinner room, with tables decorated (by hand) with sequins.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/5 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Which the servers then plopped down many, many dishes on top of. Here, a Moroccan Salad course. Brains, carrots, tomatoes, liver, all sorts of interesting and/or delicious treats.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 0.3 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
The next course was chicken and apricot.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/60 sec, f/2.7, ISO 400
Followed by lamb and tomatoes and dates.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 0.4 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Finished with veggies and couscous.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/4 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
For dessert, fluffy and crispy 'bread' with spices and creams drizzled on it.



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