Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marrakech - Light and Shade

Marrakech is Morocco's fourth largest city after Casablanca, Fes and Rabat

Marrakech was founded in 1062. The combination of bright sun, blue sky, lovely medieval architecture and stark contrast of light and shade makes it a wonderful place for photography

A typical market scene

The rooftops of Marrakech

Rooftop cafés are very popular

Coming into the the Jemaa el-Fnaa or Djemaa el Fna. It is one of the most famous squares in all of Africa and is the centre of city activity and trade

Around the edges of the large square there are cafes, restaurants, banks and pharmacies. The square is a good place to get money from an ATM!

The snake charmers...

...charmed me!

Beautiful arch leading off the square

The square is famous for many things, one of them is fresh orange juice

Minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in the city, located in the southwest medina quarter of Marrakesh to the side of the square

The minaret is 77 metres (253 ft) in height

It was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199)

The tree doesn't give much shade!

Different forms of transport in Marrakech

Marrakech owes much of its fame to its Souks. It has the largest traditional Berber market in Morocco

Paul Sullivan cites the souks as the principal shopping attraction in the city, describing it as "a honeycomb of intricately connected alleyways, this fundamental section of the old city is a micro-medina in itself, comprising a dizzying number of stalls and shops that range from itsy kiosks no bigger than an elf's wardrobe to scruffy store-fronts that morph into glittering Aladdin's Caves once you're inside."

Hard to take a shot without a sattelite dish!

Mysterious Marrakech!

Light and shade

Alley cat!

Typical Medina alley

This is the Minaret in the first photo, different point of view!

Beautiful Riad Tzarra where I stayed. I fully recommend it. The service is very good

Back in the the Jemaa el-Fnaa. It is imperative to go during the day and at night. The square is transformed at night. Full of locals, who gather and eat in the square. There is a great atmosphere

Love this door

It's all about food!

Dried fruit stall. Everything you could want

Flames of the BBQ fire

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rabat, Morocco

Hi and welcome! I visited Morocco a month ago and the next few blogs will show photos of Rabat and Marrakech. This first photo shows the Medina wall and one of the entrances
Beautiful mosque towers and small alleyways are characteristic features of the Medina

Catching up on the news after breakfast!

Lovely doorways, arches and windows are everywhere

An old and worn, but beautiful fountain in typical Moroccan style. A good place to sit and have a rest

A typical scene in one of the main streets in the Medina

The cemetery lies outside the walls all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean

Looking towards the Kasbah of the Udayas

All the tombstones face towards Mecca

The Rabat lighthouse was built in 1920 and is 79 metres high. It is also known as the Fort de la Calette Light

The Atlantic is rather lively. Surfing is popular here!

The cemetery is very big

Looking across to Salé, opposite Rabat. It serves as a commuter town. Founded in antiquity as a Phoenician colony, it became a haven for pirates as an independent republic

The beach

Traditional blue and white of the Kasbah streets

Very blue front door!

The Kasbah from the other side

I was very wary of taking photos of people. Many do not like it and get upset if they see someone trying to take their photo without permission. However these lads called my attention from above. The guy on the left is, I hope, just being playful!

Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan (Arabic: صومعة حسان‎) is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco.[1] Begun in 1195, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest. In 1199, Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque stopped. The tower only reached 44 m (140 ft), about half of its intended 86 m (260 ft) height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns being constructed. The tower, made of red sandstone, along with the remains of the mosque and the modern Mausoleum of Mohammed V, forms an important historical and tourist complex in Rabat

And this is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V

As you can see the cloud was breaking up along the walk so I decided to go back on my tracks to get some shots with the sun and blue sky for which Morocco is famous

This reminds me of St Katherine's Dock in London, but rather different architecture in the background!

The Kasbah from the other side with sun and blue sky. Makes a difference!

Wouldn't mind a flat here

The fortress

Going back into the Medina, will I find my way out!

A mosque tower........

......and another

Cats in Morocco are very close

I managed to come back out where I went in. A miracle! Next time (in two weeks) come and see the Chella Ruins just outside Rabat, with the temporarily resident storks!