Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Marrakech in March 6 :Secret Lives

Behind the red walls of Marrakech lie hidden treasures.


Open the door and walk into a calm courtyard with a fountain or pool, surrounded by walls lavishly decorated with ornate calligraphic stucco,



floral painted cedarwood ceilings


and geometric tiles.
I love this blend of spirals and chequers.


The only connection to the outside world is the
Moucharabia, a high window where the occupants can 'see without being seen', covered by ornate grids of metal.
This one is at the Bahia Palace where 24 concubines lived in rooms around a large courtyard.

We were taken by our guide to a traditional house called a Riyad.
This one had been turned into a museum of Morroccan life by a Dutch man called Bert Flint
Its crammed full of artefacts such as these camel bags,
used by nomads

and old wooden doors.
This is the view from one window across the courtyard .



Some of these Riyads have been converted into beautiful small hotels.
(But not for us....our holiday was cheap!)
As we walked through souks we passed large studded doors hiding who-knows-what beautiful architecture.
I peeped through a crack in one such door ,and although I don't have a photograph, its my abiding magical memory.
I saw a cool long corridor lined with rugs in muted natural colours, perhaps bamboo.
Striped sunlight trickled from above, and at the furthest end of the room one man dressed in a pale garment knelt and touched the ground with his forehead.

23 comments:

Celia said...

Wonderful, wonderful paterns - I want to go too!

I particularly like the shadow of the scrolls on the tiles - a fascinating image ...

jeanette mistress of longears said...

Stunning photos! What a lovely trip!

Chris said...

Amazing. You must have come back with so many design ideas dancing in your head. How did you sleep?

Jude said...

How gorgeous is that??
Have you been to the Alhambra Palace? Same stunning work, not surprising really!!

konnykards .. Musings of a Senior Citizen said...

Yes your photos are wonderful - many thanks, I know I'll not get to see such places again, though I have memories of the Alhambra, Connie.

sesga loves 1950s said...

Amazing !amazing !amazing!

I love the bags they are stunning .The detail and pattern in this place is outstanding .
I would love to go to Marrakesh one day ,If I can get over my fear of flying .
Love from sesga xx

Sue said...

Ooh good another instalment! Jackie have you thought of becoming a travel writer?! This is so great. Loved the image of the long corridor with the praying man. Can't wait to see all these inspirations turned into beautiful embroideries, your 'Marrakesh Phase'...

Diana said...

Wonderful, wonderful photos - and I WANT ONE OF THOSE CAMEL BAGS!!!

Menopausal musing said...

I am supposed to be getting into the filthy blue car and going to my first cleaning job of the week. "SUPPOSED" to be. And what am i doing???? I'm looking at your photos again. I AM HOOKED!

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Hi Jackie

Gorgeous photos - fantastic inspiration, patterns, shapes, colours, textures!!

Have a great creative day
Carolyn :o)
LOVE STITCHING RED

Jo in NZ said...

Jackie, thank you for taking me on such a wonderful journey to a place I would love to visit. I can only hope one day....

cocoa and blankets said...

beautiful colours and patterns...makes me think of arabian nights and beautiful princess's locked away in magnificent palaces with tigers prowling the corridors...sorry I am sat doing a cover at work and my imagination is running away with me...what a wonderful holiday you are having.....thank you for taking us with you....

Cathy said...

So much color and detail. No wonder people go to visit and want to stay. Your photos are beautiful.I can't wait to see what you start creating from all this inspiration.
My cuff is a hit. Thirteen compliments in one day! Thank you!

Ati. Norway. said...

Thank you for sharing all those beautiful photos and memories of your holiday. I would I could go there too one day......

fiona d said...

how wonderful, thanks for sharing. Your word picture of the man in corridor is as evocative as the vsual images. And the camel bags are so exciting!

Heather said...

So many beautiful patterns and textures, not to mention colours. I love the painted ceiling, camel bags and those marvellous old doors. What a feast of magical memories you will bring home with you - once again, thanks for sharing some of them with us.

Kitty said...

Absolutely stunning. Just 'wow'. x

Victoria said...

Seeing your photos, all full of mystery and intrigue, makes me think of the Jimmy Stewart movie, "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Your head must be absolutely bursting with ideas from all that your senses absorbed on this trip!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such jaw-dropping artistry! I can think of so many designs to spin out of these lovely photos, from dresses to brickwork! Such a marvelous trip you had!

Annica said...

Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing!

hippopip said...

Fantastic `photos,very inspirational,I can just see you running up several of those lovely camel bags

Julie said...

Amazing, beautiful photos Jackie. The scrolls are very evocative over the grid of tiles. What a wonderful haunting image of the cool corridor too.

irini said...

A great sample of how the senses are nourished in so many different ways. Your words and photos brought back the smells and sense of walking in the medinas, and your willing purchase of the wooden spoons made me smile - I have a set I have treasured for 35 years that my host brother sent me along with a cookbook after my stay as an AFS student in Maroc. The visual memory is rekindled by your trip! you will make wonderful art from this!



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