Marrakesh

Our first stop of the day was the Saadian Tombs. Built by Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour Ed-Dhabi for his family, chancellors and trusted advisors it consists of 4 decorated mausoleums and modest graves guarded by stray cats. They are decorated in the Moorish manner with cedar at the top, decorated stucco below & tiles or marble below that. A few decades after the Sultan died, Sultan Moulay Ismail had the tombs walled up to put his predecessors out of mind. They weren’t found again until 1917. The ceilings are hand painted with gold & the stucco in decorated so intricately it looks like timber.

The Bahia Palace was next to visit. Built by the Grand Vizier Si Moussa in the 1860’s, we visited the offices and conference room with their floors of Carera marble, intricately decorated walls and ceilings. The French who occupied the building from 1911 introduced fireplaces and stained glass windows. The last building we were able to visit was the harem and it’s beautiful garden.

We then had a wonderful & very amusing visit to a spice souk where we were shown different spices & herbs used for many different recipes and ailments. We all came away with something.

Our group absorbed in the presentation
Rod having a shoulder massage with some of the herbal products
Some of the herbs beautifully presented

It was then a walk onto the cooking class where we were shown by a chef how to make a pepper salad, a cabbage & fruit salad, an eggplant dish, and chicken tagine. This was so much fun and we were able to enjoy eating it all afterwards in the comfortable surround of the Dar Cherifa. This is a beautiful 15th century riad. Unfortunately the ending was marred by Bill gashing his head on the very low doorway on the way out. We gathered it must be a fairly frequent occurrence by the speed with which the staff produced bandages and bettadine.

Looking up through the skylight of the riad

The end result

The little bit of the afternoon that was left we spent back at the hotel relaxing & catching up on news from home which for me was very exciting as my niece Katherine had a baby boy, Oliver.

Below are some photos of street scenes & in the Médina in Marrakesh.

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