Essaouria, and the well behaved children…..

•April 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Off we set along the long straight road that leads from Marrakech to Essaouira out through the orange groves and on to the dry dusty dessert, through the argan tree groves and onto the conifer tree forests until with much excitement 2 and a half hours later we  hit the Atlantic coast and the white washed buildings of Essaouira………

Essaouria

We checked into our hotel, the Atlas Essaouira, a brand new hotel on the beach front with excellent veiws of the sea and the Island that sits in the bay………We quickly rushed along the sandy beach to visit the city as the sun was going down…….

Essaouria Beach Morocco

Of we rushed to the old Medina and climbed the steep stairs past the Moorish tiles to the terrace of the Taros restaurant, a place so well known for romantic rendezvous that even the seagulls meet there to watch the sun set over the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Taros Restaurant Essaouira

Then on to dinner at Le Cinq restaurant, set amongst the caverness  stone arches of  an old shipping warehouse,Just inside the Medina wallls, in a side street close to the main square. We shared a delicous dinner and stories of pirates from the Barbry coast, that press ganged little boys onto their ships in the dead of night……remarkably all our little boys sat at the table nicely after that….. But veiwed all of the waiters rather supicously……..ummmm wish all our dinners out with children could be this good……..

After Cinq Essaouira 

You will find the Taros restaurant at

Place Mouley Hassan +212(o) 524 476 4 07,

You will find the After Cinq restaurant at

5 rue Youssef El Fassi, Essaouira, Morocco,+212 (0) 524 473 349

Thankyou The Bloggers Guide & Hotels.com

•April 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So this weekend we went to visit Essaouria, how we came to go is actually quite an amazing story for all us bloggers. Several months ago while checking my comments box, I had a note from the Bloggers Guide who invited me to join in a Blogging Challenge they were holding in conjunction Hotels.com  This was my first year of blogging and being a bit of a blogging bimbo I was a little surprised by this invitation. So  over I went to visit The Bloggers Guide which is a  great site dedicated to bringing you insider news from many cities all over the world, places to visit, helpful tips, bar and restaurant reviews from people who are on the ground and blogging from and about their cities. To help all you travellers  get to know the best places to visit………it seemed to match exactly what I had been doing on my blog here in Marrakech.

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So with the kind help of Clement Wilson  I entered The World Blogging Challenge sponsored by Hotels.com at the Bloggers Guide and competing for Africa, if you look in my sidebar you will see the little link box designed by them to collect my votes.

Eventually with the help of everyone who voted for me amazingly I won my section. You see really that would have been enough for me and my little Marrakech blog, but Hotels.com offered prizes too……We were allowed to chose 3 nights in a hotel in our area. Hotels.com   are a leading company of on line finders of hotel accommodation, with huge choice, great deals and also no cancellation fees, great for all kinds of traveller……..

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So with much gratitude I would like to thank all of my voters, Clement, The bloggers Guide and Hotels.com, for making my first year of blogging so worth while.

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And heres what we found in Essaouria…………

Extreme Paint Ball, Marrakech

•April 19, 2009 • 4 Comments

Extreme PaintBall Marrakech

So today we paid a visit to  Extreme Pain Ball, oops Paint Ball here in Marrakech. It was a super sunny Sunday afternoon, the kind of day where mummy just wants to stay home and enjoy a book in the shade… but instead spent the afternoon watching  broken heartedly as her boys ran around the Marrakech countryside doing all the things she had, in the past, tried to teach them not do. Her boys on the other  hand seemed to have extreme fun…. dressed like they were headed into some sort of toxic chemical spill…

Extreme Paintball Marrakech

Armed and dangerous……

Extreme Paint ball Marrakech

And ready to do damage with these babies………

Extreme Paint ball Marrakech

Off they set to stalk and prowl their opponents. Squeals of both pain and pleasure were heard as they lived out their commando style fantasies under the shady olive trees in the quiet of the Marrakech countryside.

Extreme Paint ball Marrakech

Extreme Paint Ball is quite away outside of town around 30km just past the little town of Sidi Abdellah Ghiate. It’s good fun if you fancy an afternoon in the countryside and much better in groups so you can have small teams. Great for children over the age of 9. It is though  a pretty basic setup…… a small piece of land fenced off with netting. The shoot out area is scattered with dead palm tree trunks, a few mud walls and bamboo barricades to take cover from the paint pelting. Come prepared as they don’t seem to be equipped with bottled water. After all that running around in the hot sun in the protective gear water will be badly needed. The price of a shoot out is 150dhs for 100 balls and your game lasts as long as your balls do……

Reservations can be made on +212 (0) 678 244 838

Please be prepared for a few ooweys while playing. The protective suits do not cover delicate areas like arms, legs or bottoms……Which can leave you with some extremely painful bruises.

 

 

 

Menara Gardens, Marrakech. Hosts The Jardin ‘Art.

•April 13, 2009 • 1 Comment

Quite close to the city there is a shady olive grove called the Menara Gardens. A place for us city folks to take a stroll on a beautiful spring day. Sit quietly away from the Medina’s mayhem. While the children run around freely and explore amongest the olive orchard’s, until they find just the right secret spot for a  picnic lunch in the trees.

Menara Gardens Marrakech

But this weekend was slightly different, this weekend there was a carnival  feel in the gardens. This weekend spring was in the air, so Marrakech turned out to celebrate down at the Menara gardens at the Festival de L’Art Jardin. A festival dedicated to all things flora and fauna. Patronised by the King MohammedVI and with Princesss Lalla Hasnna as president. Very well organised by the magazine Jardins du Maroc (Abderrazak Benchaabane).  This event is becoming a wonderful spring treat for all us residents of Marrakech. More info on this event can be found at

festival@jardinsdumaroc.com

The professional garden designers turned out with their designer displays… 

Jardin 'Art 2009 Marrakech

Jardin'Art Menara Marrakech

But further down the flower strewn path came the really exciting part…….The gardens built by the children from local schools. This wonderful idea to include and encourage the efforts from local school children to represnt  the sort of environments that surround them, gave the event a wonderful feeling of community and not just a place for professionals to sell their wares.

Jardin 'Art 2009 Marrakech

Jardin 'Art 2009 Marrakech

Jardin 'Art 2009 Marrakech

Cute……..

The Menara Gardens is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Marrakech. The gardens grow around a huge man made reservoir, with a  romantic pavilion overlooking the water. Built in the 16th century by the Saadian Dynasty and renovated in 1868 by  Moulay Abderrahmane  he used  the pavilion as an escape from the city during the hot summer months.

Menara Gardens Pavillion Marrakech

As you climb the stairs by the pavilion look out for the man selling the old bread, make sure you spend a few dirahams so that you can have some fun and feed the MONSTER fish that lurk in the murky waters…

Menara Gardens Marrakech

You will find The Menara Gardens at

Avenue de la Menara, Marrakech.

The gardens are free to enter and there is a restaurant set into the base of the reservoir for refreshments.

Unfortunately you can no longer visit the pavilion itself.

 

 

 

Noureddine Chater “Arabstrations”

•April 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Noureddine Chater "Arabstrations"

The Matisse Gallery, Marrakech last night opened its latest art exhibition “Arabstrations” by Noureddine Chater. Chater is a well known and much loved home grown Marrakech Calligraphy artist. 

Recently Chater has been on his travels showing his work in France, Senegal and Portugal and also in Casablanca and Rabat. Its nice to see that Chater’s is moving out into a more international market, that  his work is so deserving of. Its also nice to see his 10year relationship with Marrakech based Matisse Gallery is still going strong.

Noureddine Chater "Arabstrations"

 His work is developing beautifully. The detail in the backgrounds of his paintings make you feel that he is not painting on a simple canvas any longer. The technique used, gives the appearance of oxidised metal, like weather worn painted iron that is rusting  and flaking with age. His clever introduction of light shades on his calligraphic letters also adds a more three dimensional feel to his work. His colour choice’s have also changed in a few of his works, combining natural hues with more electric neons, that actually work pretty nicely together.

Noureddine Chater "Arabstrations"

The exhibition of Arabstrations runs from the 10th to the 25th of April and Matisse welcomes everybody to come and have a look.

You will find them at

The Matisse Gallery, 43 Passage Ghandouri, Gueliz, Marrakech,+212 (0) 524 448 326

www.matisse-art-gallery.com

for more veiws of Chaters work, try here.

www.noureddine-chater.com

 

 

Dar Si Said Museum Marrakech.

•April 9, 2009 • 3 Comments

Medina Carpets Marrakech

A few twisty turny alleyways after the Bahia palace, just past the brightly coloured carpets , the next historic site to visit in Marrakech  is the Dar Si Said Museum. This museum is dedicated to the arts and crafts both past and present of Marrakech and it’s surrounding areas.

Dar Si Said Museum Marrakech

Set around a pretty courtyard garden this museum celebrates room by room each of the different traditional crafts that have been handed down from generation to generation.Woodwork, leather work,metalwork, jewellery ceramics and my particular favorite the skills of caftan making all set in fabulous palatial Moorish architecture.

Caftan at Dar Si Said Museum Marrakech,

 

Again the price of admissions is  10dhs and a personalised guided tour is possiable the price of this is negotiable. The museum opens from 10am to 12.30pm and 3pm to sunset.

you will find the museum at the Mellah end of Riad Zitoun Jedid

just follow the signs.

Dar Si Said Museum Marrakech

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

•April 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

For a little touch of historic Marrakech you should visit the Palais Bahia. Wander the weather worn tiles. The same tiles walked by the beautiful concubines this palace was built for……….

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

Immerse yourself in ancient Islamic architecture and artistry………….

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

Wood and plasterwork hand carved and painted by the ancient artisans who took 15 years to finish this palace.

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

Watch the sunlight filter through iron grills , that cast mysterious shadows on the dimly lit passage ways

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

that lead from one grand room to another…. 

Palais Bahia Marrakech

and look out on the courtyard gardens…………

The Palais Bahia Marrakech

The Palais Bahia was constructed in around 1880  by the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed using the best artisans brought from all over Morocco to complete his palace. You will find the Palais Bahia at the Mellah end of Riad Zitoun Jedid and is open all day. It’s best to take a guide, which are usually avaliable between 10am and 1pm, 3pm till sunset. Entrance is 10dhs and guide prices are negotiable.