Marrakech Day 2

My second day in Marrakech took me to another part of the city. Most of my time was spent in the medina, where I stayed, which is the old and most touristy part of the city.

It is difficult to overestimate the amount to which Marrakech relies on tourism. Everything appears to come back to tourism.

My friends and I ventured to the Nouvelle Ville on Monday. The Nouvelle Ville, the largest part of which is a neighborhood called Gueliz, is the more recent, French addition to the city and is therefore outside the ramparts. My friends needed to find the train station, and I was dying to see Majorelle Gardens, so we spent a good half day in the area. The medina of Marrakech was much smaller than we expected from the map (everything is much denser), but our walk to the station and Majorelle Gardens took over an hour.

This lush escape greeted us at Majorelle Gardens.

The artist’s cottage, now the museum.

It was much hotter the second day than it was the first. Unfortunately, I had dressed for a slight breeze. As a result, my black jacket spent the majority of the day hanging off my shoulders. We sat in the shade for a while.

Relaxing in the shade with the artist’s cottage in the background.

Friends and shadows.

Colorful pots in the garden.

A rather underwhelming memorial for Yves Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent is the reason for the huge popularity of the gardens; he restored them while living in the villa just next door.

I titled this one “Blue.”

After visiting the gardens, we had lunch on one of the large avenues in the Nouvelle Ville. I had chicken tajine, which was delicious. We walked four blocks in the sun, and decided we needed to stop for gelato. I justified this by saying it would prevent heat exhaustion.

The place was written up in all our guide books. I would eat gelato in Marrakech again in a second.

Afterwards, we went to Cyber Park, which is apparently a favorite of Marrakech residents. There are computers with Internet access in the middle of the park. It was a very pretty park anyway.

Cyber Park was on our way to the artisan collective in Marrakech. We stumbled into the room where rugs were made. Several of the woman let us help weave rugs for a few dirham. I’d always wondered how the rugs were constructed. It turns out that the rugs are created by tying a simple but specific knot, which is then pushed down by something resembling a fork. All of this is done on a loom. It was fascinating.

After visiting a couple more souks (and resting a few minutes in the hotel– it was really hot), we had dinner right on Djemma el Fnaa Square. I so enjoyed my couscous there, I went back the next night.

The decor wasn’t bad either.

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