Africa

Majorelle Gardens and the Medina of Marrakech by Míriam

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After sleeping about ten hours, I woke up resting and wanting to have breakfast on the pleasant terrace of the riad. It was cold, but the sky was clear and promised a splendid day! The moruno tea and cakes made me feel great to start the day. On the horizon the silhouette of the snowy Atlas could be glimpsed, although the visibility was not very good.

Before we get going, we ask Christine the best way to go to the Majorelle Gardens, and she suggested we go in a buggy. He told us that the price we had to pay to go and return in a buggy would be 250 dirhams and nothing else. If anything, we would think about it on the way to the outskirts of the medina.

In the square Jemaa-el-Fna There were lots of taxi drivers offering to take us. But there was a problem: most were small four-seater taxis (counting the taxi driver). So, we look for another alternative. On Mohammed V Avenue, at the height of the Koutoubia, there are several urban bus stops, so in the end we tried our luck there. After asking at several stops, we found the bus that would take us to the Gardens. During the trip we were chatting with a man who kindly told us at what stop we should get off and with an English couple. The topic of conversation was football. It is curious that, without being soccer players, we immediately found people wanting to talk about football with us, and we, given their kindness, could not help talking about the recent "classic", Messi and the national team. With the talk, we didn't realize it and we immediately reached our destination.

The Majorelle Gardens are botanical gardens designed by the painter Jacques Majorelle in 1931. In 1980, Yves Saint-Laurent bought the gardens and was responsible for restoring them. The architectural design of the enclosure stands out for the use of very bright colors and in it you can see an important variety of palm trees, cacti, aloe and bamboo. It is a very nice and even romantic place (if we ignore the crowds of visitors), with beautiful places to walk and get lost. In addition to the gardens, you can also visit the Museum of Islamic Art, although the entrance must be paid separately.

When we returned to the medina, we were a little lost. We had no idea where to catch a bus back because there was no stop on the street. In the end, we stopped a bus in the middle of the street that brought us closer to the center. We entered the medina through the imposing gate of Bab Agnau and went to visit the Saadian tombs. These tombs date from the 16th century, but they were not discovered until 1917! In this case, the enclosure is also a beautiful example of local architecture, although the walls and interior garden are very abandoned. On the roofs you can see several stork nests, which are inhabited at that time of year.

At lunchtime, we approach the Qzadria square Looking for a restaurant. Those who had recommended us there were somewhat expensive, so we opted for one of the food stalls in the square. As in Jemaa-el-Fna, there is no price competition, so in each restaurant someone shows you the wonders of their menu. But this time the play did not go very well, since the tajín and the skewers that served us did not look very appealing. The cats in the square did not think the same and surrounded us with the intention of seeing if something "fell". I ate half a vegetable tagine, but Isabel, who was suffering from the flu she had been carrying since the beginning of the week, couldn't with her plate. A poor, very old lady approached us to ask for alms and, as she knew we had no food left over, we prepared a cake stuffed with meat and vegetables.

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