Ruins – Marrakech

Posted on January 4, 2015

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The order for the day was historical sites. We headed off towards the pedestrian rue of Bab Agnaou passing the high, foreboding and very pink Palace walls. The Gate of Gnawa as it is known locally was named after the black slaves brought from sub-Saharan Africa. It is beautiful. The piece has been weatherbeaten to perfection in my opinion and the gate is the only stone structure in an otherwise mud brick city.

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Passing through the archway the Kasbah mosque is a short walk away and around the corner is the Saadian Tombs – the holy resting place for Saadian sultans. Like everywhere in this place nothing is sign posted and what looks like road names on the sides of walls could be absolutely anything.

It’s no wonder then that the discovery of the tombs was only about 80 years, for a long time it lay hidden. Now it is one of the most visited sites in Marrakech. The “Hall” itself is the main attraction and has 12 marble pillars surrounding the sultans and his family’s tombs. The interior walls are very ornate and the workmanship is intricate. It reminds me of the work that I saw in India. Outside in the courtyard mosaic graves are dotted throughout the garden not too dis-similar to a churchyard, but a wee bit prettier. The queue to see inside the hall is long and I was somewhat disappointed that after

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all that queuing you get all of about one full minute at the front of the entrance to view it.

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Badii Palace is well worth a trip. We must have spent a good few hours soaking up the atmosphere and pounding the grounds. The sheer size of the walls are impressive as are the thickness. The palace has an open plaza with a huge water feature in the middle of it. Then at the far back there is the Koutoubia Mosque minibar. Sadly it is not what you think, it is actually a pulpit, but the name is hilarious especially in a place like Morocco where alcohol is harder to find than a tiger in the wild!

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After eating, the rest of the day was pretty much spent getting lost. We planned to buy our bus tickets for the start of the week. We were heading into the Atlas Mountains and knew it would be late Sunday by the time we got back. I’m off for a desert safari and the actress is headed to the coast – except the bus station we went to wasn’t the right one for the buses we needed and we had to get those bus tickets at the train station. Of course!! Needless to say we were exhausted come evening after a two hour detour on foot and being sent on a wild goose-chase by various twats, so we decided to eat local come nightfall. And by local I mean we braved the night market.

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The food was great, the place is bedlam and you have to embrace the spirit of madness to get the full experience. And just for the record neither of us got sick!!

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