Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fez, (فاس) Morocco - part 1

Hello and welcome. I went to Morocco in September on a work trip for the second time this year. I had a weekend so jumped on a train to Fez. I had such a great time. Very beautiful Medina and lovely people. This is part one. I will post part two in a couple of weeks. Enjoy the photos!
Fes or Fez (Arabic: فاس‎, Moroccan Arabic [fɛs], Berber: Fas) is the third largest city of Morocco, with a population of approximately 1 million (2010)

The amazing blue skies are a characteristic of Moroccan beauty

Beautiful doorway

Bab Bou Jeloud, "The Blue Gate" of Fez


On the other side, the medina side, the gate is green!

Narrow alleyways

Gorgeous towers

Stunning mosaic

Incredible shops

Awesome alleycat

Shame about the advert!

The tannery. It has been in operation since the 11th century

The white stone vessels contain ammonia. The workers have to wear protective clothing

The other vessels contain the dye. The workers do not wear protective clothing. I was told the dye is completely natural, no chemicals are used, so it is not harmful to the skin

Life is tough for the medina donkeys

The Al-Attarine Madrasa

It was built by the Marinid sultan Uthman II Abu Said (1310-1331) in 1323

The madrasa takes its name from the Souk al-Attarine, the spice and perfume market

The charm of the alleyways of Fez

Local craft. Noisy and colouful square

Parked donkey

Moroccan cutie

Scene in a square

Ayumi-san and Sakiko-san. Fellow solo travellers I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with

The Royal Palace
General public are barred from entering the Palace, but it is still an impressive sight even from outside. The palace was built in the 17th century and it is situated right in the centre of Fès el Jdid. Part of it still serves as the residence of the King of Morocco when he visits this area

Sunset in Fez.....

lights up the towers.....

and the terraces so beautifully.
Do come back for part 2

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Qutub Minar قطب مینار New Delhi, India

Welcome! The Qutub Minar and Complex is one of my favourite places in Delhi. I went there at sunset to try to get the best light. I have also made a previous posting of this site here
This is the entrance to Qutub Minar but I took it from the exit perspective because the light was so much better

Qutub Minar (The Qutub Tower; Urdu: قطب مینار‎), also known as Qutb Minar and Qutab Minar, is the tallest minar in India. You will see the minar a lot in the following photos!

Construction was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak

The minar is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as the Qutub complex

The tower has 379 stairs, is 72.5 metres (237.8 ft) high, and has a base diameter of 14.3 metres, which narrows to 2.7 metres at the top storey

Decorated with some greenery

The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway from southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. This is the first building in India to employ Islamic architecture principles in its construction and ornamentation. The Alai Darwaza is the earliest example of first true arches and true domes in India. It is considered to be one of the most important buildings built in the Delhi sultanate period

Local sightseers enjoying their heritage

Built as a Victory Tower, to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan, in 1192 AD, by his then viceroy, Qutbuddin Aibak, later the first Sultan of Mamluk dynasty. Its construction also marked the end of the last of the Hindu kingdoms in North India, and the beginning of Muslim rule in India, which ended only in the 19th century with the arrival of the British. Even today the Qutb remains one of the most important "Towers of Victory" in the Islamic world

After taking this photo the husband, who couldn't speak English, indicated he would like a copy. Unfortunately he doesn't have email and couldn't give me his postal address. Frustrating!

Kids always love to have their photo taken

Sunset at the complex

The warm sandstone is beautifully illuminated by the sun

Lots of corners and archways

Time for a rest and to contemplate

The victory tower and a victory sign

A family takes a pause at the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque

It was the first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India and the oldest surviving example of Ghurids architecture in the Indian subcontinent

A window without a view..........

Qtub Minar is on the flightpath of planes to and from New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

Lads take a break

Old architecture, modern fashion statement!

Brisk walk through the ruins

The Qutub Minar was used as a watch tower. The earliest extant mosque was built by the Delhi Sultans. Some historians believe that the Qutub Minar was named after the first Turkic sultan (whose descendant- Wajid Ali Shah-repaired it), Qutub-ud-din Aibak, but others contend that it was named in honour of Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from Transoxiana who came to live in India and was venerated by Iltutmish

Born a slave in Turkey, Qutb rose to prominence as a general during Muhammed Ghari's invasion of India in the 1180s. After Muhammed's assassination in 1206, Qutb seized the throne and crowned himself Sultan of the Mamluk dynasty, often disparagingly called the "Slave Dynasty" after Qutb's origins

Love the white dress

Beautiful columns. They are plundered Hindu columns which came from 27 Hindu and Jain temples razed by Qutb's occupation army

The iron pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities. The pillar, 7.21-metre high and weighing more than six tonnes, was originally erected by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–414 AD) in front of a Vishnu Temple complex at Udayagiri around 402 AD, and later shifted by Aangpal in 10th century AD from Udaygiri to its present location. Anangpal built a Vishnu Temple here and wanted this pillar to be a part of that temple. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the facts). Next time Fez, Morocco. See you there!