Helen goes to Morocco Day 33 – Ouzoud Falls & Iminfri

Day 33, 9 October 2019. I had planned on getting this post up last weekend (10 or 11 October) but I had just started a new job and well life has been a bit busy πŸ˜€

This was a big day out πŸ˜€ and just like I have said previously, this was another absolute highlight of a day. Mum for those that don’t know is a big fan of waterfalls. We had many holidays when we were younger that were partially centred round ticking a waterfall off the list. If you were travelling, Mum’s request was/is always for a waterfall postcard. We had been in Morocco now for 31 days and other than the cascades at Aroumd/Imlil, we had not actually seen any waterfalls. This was all going to change today as we were going to see a right ripper of a water fall – Ouzoud Falls and also the natural bridge at Imi-n-Ifri.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 32 – Marrakesh

Day 32, a few days later in getting up because of the combination of starting a new job and a weekend full of activities. Day 32, a another fantastic day. I’ll be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed our few days in Marrakesh. Yes, there were times when I did just want to chillax at the riad or linger in a cafe but that was not surprising after the pace of the last month! However, I could easily have sent a lot more time in Marrakesh, I barely scratched the surface on the list of places that I still wanted to see. Next time….

This morning, we were off to Le Jardin Secret, which was just round the round two corners from our riad and one of the factors that resulted in me picking this riad.

We all headed off to the garden and wow. It was just a magical place of botanical, engineering and design discovery. I have recently had the book “Paradise Gardens: the world’s most beautiful Islamic gardens” by Monty Don & Derry Moore out of the library and it was interesting seeing how much the plantings at Le Jardin Secret have grown since the photos for the book were taken and how some elements of the design have changed. Aunty Margaret & I spent 3.5 hours there as we took a leisurely morning tea looking into the garden. Mum had returned to the riad to work on a work proposal she needed to get submitted.

We opted to include the tower tour in our entry tickets and I am very glad that we did. Not so much for the views but just to be able to take in the detail and beauty of the tower construction. The views were pretty good as well :D. I am reluctant to write paragraphs and paragraphs of text about the gardens but instead you are going to have a good collection of photos down below and the strong suggestion that if you ever find your self in Marrakesh and only have time to visit one garden out of Le Jardin Secret and the Majorelle, I would say visit Le Jardin Secret.

I adored Le Jardin Secret and I with a few tweaks for the Australian environment, I would quite happily have a smaller version in my back yard. If I do ever have a large enough garden space, I do have ideas for a Charbagh or paradise garden of my own that is full of Australian natives with a few exotics D:

One of the sentences from my journal on this day is as follows: ” I am constantly in awe of how this part of the world conquered water.” This video animation provides a good guide to how water is mastered in this garden. This below video provides a good overview of the restoration/renovation of the garden.

Margaret & I had arranged to meet Mum & Brahim at the cafe that we had had lunch at a few days ago so that we would give him a present he had found – a field guide to Moroccan flora. After a late lunch, we headed off to the braid and trim store that we had spied on our walk through the souks on Day 30 as well as to show Mum a local second hand dress shop that we had walked pass on the way to lunch.

The braid/trim shop was an amazing visual and textural delight to explore. We had a good chat to the shop owner and Mum & I both acquired some trimmings. It was just amazing, I’ve marked it with a pin and I I know I will return to visit it when I next find myself in the souk in Marrakesh!

We then had a leisurely walk back to the riad, where we had again arranged to have dinner in house tonight. I spent some time up on the roof terrace enjoying the sunset and the sounds of the city. It was just a delight πŸ˜€

After dinner, Mum & I walked down to Jemaa el-Fnaa to absorb it in all of its night time craziness. There were people everywhere, tourists and locals. There were vendors of everything imaginable that might pique the interest of the night time crowd and there were font of house staff at the various little cafe stalls that were doing a marvellous job of selling their food and their stall as the best as you walked past.

And that is Day 32. Tomorrow, we are heading out of city on a wee adventure πŸ˜€

Helen goes to Morocco Day 31 – Marrakesh

Today was the start of our 4 days of adventuring by ourselves in Marrakesh and to say we (I at least) were slightly excited was an understatement. We somewhat eagerly checked out of hotel accommodation and after a few false starts with a taxi, we made it to our riad. We were all much more comfortable in a more personable riad then the large scale of the hotel.

I had been tasked with organising accommodation for the Motherships and me for our last few days in Marrakesh. I had carefully poured over the map, picking out the places that we wanted to visit but also something that was easy to access. Riad Zaid fitted the bill quite nicely. After four days there, I would happily stay there again. When we arrived, we had a lovely morning tea up on the terrace which was just a treat.

We had two primary items on the agenda today. First to get some documents printed for Mum as she was putting together a tender for some work and the price the hotel had quoted her was beyond ridiculous. With a bit of google map searching, we had managed to find a print shop that luckily was just near where we were headed; The Majorelle Gardens – Jardin Majorelle.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 30 – Marrakesh

Today, was our last day on tour, which like all things was coming to an end. We had a lovely buffet breakfast in the hotel and fortified ourselves for a day of exploring. Our tour would take us through to lunch time and then we were free in the afternoon to explore as we wish. In pure Marrakesh tourist style, we travelled from our hotel to our first two destinations in Calèches.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 29 – Essaouira to Marrakesh

Today was a bittersweet day, the end of our tour was tomorrow after a tour of Marrakesh and today would be our last day with any driving which would mean farewell to Ibby & our bus when we got to Marrakesh. Then tomorrow, we would say farewell to Brahim on the last day of the tour. However, today also brought the Motherships & I closer to our four days of free unstructured travel in Marrakesh which I was very much looking forward to.

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Helen goes to Morocco Day 28 – Essaouira

Essaouira. Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore. That last 2 weeks or so in the Moroccan countryside had kind of made the hub bub of a city fade away a bit. Essaouira, was very much a tourist, beach, fishing town. I sort of want to compare it to a cross between the Gold Coast and say Newcastle. A bit of an interesting cross of those two areas but I think it is pretty fair.

I’m going to say it straight away today, I could have spent an extra day or two here easily. There were so many more streets to walk up, so many more gardens and buildings to look at, so much more seafood to eat. Yes, I know this return to trip, keeps having more and more bits in it doesn’t it? Maybe, it will be a few return trips, I’m still young(ish) after all.

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