Pola-und-Helena Photography

Red City (6/2010 EVROPA Magazine)

8.03.2011

Marrakesh

Now then Marrakesh… You always have ideas of a place you’ve never been to before, don’t you. During the last year we’ve taken the magazine’s readers to Formentera, Venice, the Maldives, and Thailand… Now, as a crowning event of our travel year, we were going to the Red City at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Our research done prior to travelling revealed most exotic images: Jamaa el Fna or the Assembly of the dead, Medina, the ancient city walls, endless souks… all of those excited our curiosity.

We should not be disappointed.

Issue 6/2010

November-December 2010 (Silver Issue)

www.vsya-evropa.com

On the left: Literally everyone has heard of the Red City at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Maybe you connect it with images of thousand and one night. But if you’ve been there once, you know about the very special magic and the crazy mixture of mysticism and oriental chaos.

On the right: The El Badi Palace is 400 years old… once a magnificent symbol of a victorious king’s power… but marbles and gold are long gone, only the typical red sand stone remnants remind the traveller of the bygone times… mystical and thought-provoking.

The Ben Youssef Madrasa (founded in the 14th century) with its breathtakingly captivating architecture was the largest theological school in North Africa. This madrasa is one of the few religious sites opened to the public. In 1998 Kate Winslet explored Sufism here…in the movie “Hideous Kinky”.

The huge areal of the Menara Gardens was built during the 12th century… A refuge of thousands of date trees… the refreshing atmosphere of tranquillity and space at the edge of town… Emerging luxury hotels and apartment houses will turn it into Marrakesh’s Beverly Hills one day…

Marrakech has the largest souk or traditional market in Morocco… an endless maze of alleys and bazaars… Where somebody who’s passionate for bargains will experience a mere shopping binge… Browsing through the alleys you’ll find ceramics, textiles, the stalls of copper smiths, blacksmiths and other artisans… watch all that fabrics, leather goods, jewellery, rugs…You’ll find everything in the souks of Marrakesh. The old slave market is long gone and is now replaced by spice traders and quacks.

Jamaa el Fna, Marrakesh’s main square, is the chief tourist attraction. The “Assembly of the dead” – the former place of execution – is much livelier nowadays. The square is known as an open air stage for performers, dancers, snake charmers, storytellers, and musicians. This visual and acoustic spectacle is an unforgettable experience only beaten by the gastronomic pleasures. Freshly pressed orange or mandarin juice in the morning, freshly cooked local food in the evening. No chance that boredom will set in… Jamaa el Fna truly is the heart of Marrakesh.

I’m lying by the poolside… The sun shades cover my eyes… opened just wide enough to guess the extravagant red-tiled pool. The laid-back atmosphere is underlined by lush sounds of some French chill-out music… a perfect invigorating contrast… to recover from the vivid and pure life in Marrakesh…

The Murano Resort is located 15 minutes away from the centre of Marrakesh… Set amidst the huge, 1400 years old palm grove at the edge of town… 24 riad-style suites offer a bright, airy ambience with just a pinch of pop art. At the riad’s patio you’ll enjoy a fantastic sight of the lush Moroccan palm grove and one of the four swimming pools – perfect to look back at the passed days and to make plans for the days to follow. The classy hotel bar is highly recommended for its somewhat psychedelic light installation and numerous cocktails. Let the day fade away in style.

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