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Morocco Part 1 – Marrakech

Morocco

My husband and I recently took our honeymoon in Morocco and I don’t think either one of us were quite prepared for how much we would fall in love with the country. We spent just under two weeks there and, thanks to my amazing friend, Claire Eastwood and her expertise in luxury bespoke travel. In collaboration with The Smart Flyer, she set us up with a local guide who took us to several towns and areas we had wanted to visit. First on our agenda was Marrakech. The 14th century streets and alleyways of the Medina are packed with spices, sights, & sounds that took us into another world.

Morocco

When you first enter the side streets with all the Souks (stalls), you are overwhelmed with the smells, the people, the hustle-bustle and the fact that you are in the middle of something that has been happening this very way for thousands of years. It brings tears to your eyes. It’s a cultural delight.

Morocco

Morocco

The spice Souks are AMAZING! Saffron, cumin, corriander and so much more. There are also a plethora of essential oils amber, musk, rose, argan and herbal remedies and cosmetics made from kohl, cochineal powder and henna.

Morocco

Morocco     Morocco

Badi Palace.

Morocco

The Jardin Marjorelle, where Yves St. Laurent once lived and where his ashes are now spread.

Morocco      Morocco

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco      Morocco

We stayed at the stunning La Sultana Riad in the Kasbah.

Morocco

Tile

Morocco

Morocco      Morocco

The breathtaking Madrassa Ben Youssef (an ancient religious school)

Morocco      Morocco

Details in our Riad La Sultana.

Morocco

The dyers Souks where wools and silks are dyed with all natural, from the earth colorings from indigo, saffron, mint, poppy and rose.

Morocco      Morocco

Morocco      Morocco

Nightime in the Place Jemaa el Fna is not to be missed! Food stalls, snake charmers, musicians and plenty of ways to spend a few more dhirams. So culturally amazing, it has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

 

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Moroccan Finds

Moroccan Finds

One of the many joys of traveling is discovering what is indigenous to a place and how they use their natural resources. Morocco has a wealth of this and, they have, over the centuries, crafted a huge market for herbs, spices, lotions and potions, woven rugs, dyed silks and wools, baskets, leather goods, silver and gold and so much else that it blows your mind! We fell in love with it all and especially the people who take pride in what they produce. Clockwise from top left – Moroccan Mint Tea. Glass and silver decanters for Rose Water (traditionally used to freshen the hands of house guests before they enter your home). The food is ridiculously good in Morocco and they use so many wonderful spices. We missed the vegetable tagines, couscous and other dishes so much that we hunted down a good cookbook to learn some of the dishes we grew to love. Tagine cooking is essentially from the Berber regions of North Africa and the name comes from the clay dishware used to make the dishes. Book available here. Glass and silver mint tea glasses. Saffron – very prolific in Morocco and reasonably priced. Dried roses – Moroccans use roses to scent themselves and their homes. We couldn’t believe how fragrant it was, so had to bring some to our home. Black Soap – used in the Hamams. Hamams are steam baths and used weekly as part of the religious cleansing ritual. We were lucky enough to have two Hamams while we were there and left each one swearing that we need to pamper ourselves more often. The treatment involves laying in a gorgeous steam room (picture the most beautiful tile and stone work you can imagine) being cleansed with the black soap, drenched in buckets of warm water followed by an exfoliation. You are then moisturized with Argan Oil. Since it was our honeymoon, we followed our treatments with massages. Heaven on earth! I’m now spoiled for life.

Moroccan Finds

Since remodeling our bathroom, we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect light fixture for above the sink. One of the Souks (market stall) in the Medina in Marrakech came through for us! Hand forged and made by one of the locals who we got to meet. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Moroccan Finds

A Kilim Berber rug bought in the Medina in Marrakech and now proudly living in our dining room. Hand dyed with natural dyes and hand made – perfectly imperfect.

Moroccan Finds

Argan trees grow all over Morocco and produce a nut that has been used for thousands of years in cooking. The nut is beaten by hand to reveal the inner nut which is then ground into an oil. This process is handled by women in co-operatives and it was discovered that their hands never aged and always stayed soft and smooth. Therefore, more recently, Argan Oil is being produced for cosmetic use too and sold all over the world. I have been a fan of Argan Oil for a long time, so couldn’t wait to get my hands on some in it’s native land. Josie Maran has a great Argan Oil here. Use it on your hair, nails or skin. It’s amazing!

Stay tuned for more Morocco posts! I have to share with you some of the places we visited! It is such an incredibly beautiful country and we can’t wait to go back to discover more. Have you been? I’d love to hear from you!

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