Thursday, December 27
In Marrakech we went a bit crazy buying Christmas presents (and a few things for us too!), and came back with quite a haul. I'm so glad I'd read about others going and thought to check an empty suitcase! It was groaning with goodies on the way back..
From top to bottom, pretty patterns and some of our purchases:
Tiles in the Kasbah, necklace and resin box from Berber sellers in Rmat, Sand roses that are formed and collected in the Sahara, leather slippers and hooded coat bought in the souks of central Marrakech, Ornate stonework outside the Ben Youssef Madrasa, Vintage teapot and tea mix from Kasbah markets, Tiles at the Bahia Palace, Saffron and leather bag from the souks.
Monday, December 24
These are some of the pages from my Morocco sketchbook. It was lovely to sit and draw and drink mint tea, it felt like far too long since I did a bit of drawing in a new place. I think I feel a new year's resolution coming on. I hope to do a few more from photos, but it's never quite the same as being there is it?
Anyway, have a brilliant Christmas! See you in 2013!
Tuesday, December 18
In the second half of our adventure in Morocco we travelled out towards the Atlas Mountains and stayed in an ecohotel miles from anywhere. On the first day we borrowed bikes and rode to the nearest village which had its weekly market that day. We ate with locals and listened to Berber musicians, it was pretty magical.
On the second day in the countryside (and sadly our last day of the trip) we had originally planned to take it easy and then catch our flight in the evening, but instead we borrowed a car and went for a long drive up into the mountains. It was a bit scary driving on the wrong side of the road next to sheer drops, but the sights were breathtaking. I'm so glad we did it. And I love that even though I'm back home I'm walking around in boots that still have Atlas Mountain mud on them!
I just spent a week in Morocco and it was awesome. We arrived in Marrakech at lunchtime on Monday and spent the next few days wandering round its winding alleyways trying to find the way to and from our Riad. It was totally bewildering but we had fun bartering with locals and soaking up the atmosphere. We ate lots of meat, drank loads of delicious mint tea and bought all our Christmas presents in the lively souks around the famous central square, the Jemaa el Fna, which came to life every evening with food stalls, storytellers and drummers.
The colours in the city were amazing. The decoration of seemingly insignificant windows and doorways was beautiful and I left wanting to photograph the whole city all over again. I did quite a bit of drawing there too, which was lovely. I hadn't done any location drawing for ages so it was fun to sit in street cafes and wield a colour pencil again.
Later in the week we headed out to the country... but I'll tell you about that another day!