“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Majorelle Gardens and the Magical Muezzin

There is an enormous mosque in the centre of Marrakech called Koutoubia, which we tried as best we could to photograph, but to be honest it's not particularly attractive, so we wandered the adjacent rose gardens in the morning which sadly weren't much better. We had however switched to taxis to get into town as blisters were already bulging from flip flopping it for 6 hours yesterday - so the walk round was really quite pleasant in the sun.

In the afternoon we took a beautiful horse and cart ride ("Caleshe") to the Majorelle gardens for lunch also known as the "The Yves Saint Laurent gardens" and they were a complete contrast. Absolutely stunning. Cool and shady and with the most perfect specimens I think I have ever seen in a garden. Believe it or not the photo on the right that looks like an elephants foot is a huge tree that was growing in a raised bed and towering over us.

We took a taxi back into town to the Riad for cold showers, olives, wine and champagne before heading back to the main square in time for sunset and dinner which I timelapsed - I had been told about the square and how it comes alive from about 7pm onwards, so I set up the camera on my tripod hoping it would make a good subject.

It felt cooler in the evening as we sat eating; we were quite high up and had the breeze in our faces which was lovely and very welcome. We had lovely staff looking after us, as well as friendly neighbours on the table next door who didn't mind the noise of my camera clicking away as it time-lapsed the busy crowd below backed by the setting sun.
There was a magical moment on that roof terrace which made you hold your breath to listen... It started when the first Muezzin went off far far away in the distance to my left – seemingly on the edge of the Sahara – a few seconds passed and another rang out from a mosque in the opposite direction – it was like the buildings were calling to each other across the desert – eerie, spiritual and somewhat beautiful at the same time. It has to be said though that the other 4 times of the day the minarets blasted out the call to prayer it was just loud and irritating!
We took a tuk-tuk back through the busy square to the Riad for the full moon rising again on the roof terrace (and alcohol allowance of course!). An absolutely amazing day today.

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