Tourists in Marrakech

The Secret Garden

The High Atlas Mountains lay to the south and east of the Plain of Marrakech. After a period of rain we saw the mountains in the distance were carpeted in snow, dazzling in the sunshine. The chilled air from the mountains cooled the city and the day-time temperature plummeted to 16°. We chose these cooler days to take a taxi either to the supermarket or into Marrakech for lunch and a bit of sightseeing. On sunnier days the temperature rose to 22° and we preferred to relax in the beautiful gardens at Le Relais.

Easy to get lost in narrow alleys

Set within the ancient medina was Le Jardin Secret, all that remained of a 16th century Sultan’s palace. The walled gardens had recently been restored and were kept cool by streams fed by a system of wells and pipes laid down 150 years previously. Afterwards we strolled through the medina eventually finding our way to the Jamaa El Fna Square, a large tourist area surrounded by cafés and restaurants. There were stalls selling freshly squeezed fruit juice, snake charmers, henna artists, musicians and sellers of tat. Birds, monkeys, even tortoises provided a photo opportunity for visitors. Each evening at dusk the square became alive with stalls selling food – grilled meats, sausages, soup, fried fish and spicy snails.

Lunch overlooking the square
We couldn’t resist a return visit to the Government Shop now called Complexe D’Artisant. Three floors crammed full of the work of Moroccan craftsmen.
I was tempted by this big cat made of metal