Apr 272017
 

The first time we went on the food tour in Marrakesh we discovered that they had a few surprises up their sleeves. Like this neighborhood bakery where they prepared everything from bread to whatever the local residents brought in to bake for the day. There were a lot of trays of sardines about.

I looked into a back room and this guy was in there eager to demonstrate how they form the small loves of bread I’d been eating with every meal.

man making bread in marrakesh morrocco

Mar 172017
 

The building that houses the Marrakesh Museum might be as impressive as everything on display inside. This is the mosaic coated main hall in the middle. It makes sense that it’s so impressive as it was originally built as a palace.

marrakech museum central hall with chandelier and fountain

 

Mar 062017
 

On my last trip to Marrakesh I finally made it out to the Atlas mountains, or the foothills at least. To make this even more interesting we traveled through the foothills of the Atlas mountains on camels. It was definitely an exciting experience with camels going rogue to eat cactus, refusing to walk in the mud, and one even falling down with one of my colleagues perched precariously on top.

Once we survived this adventure, we were on our way back to Marrakesh when our guide pulled the car over so we could see this small Berber village in the Asni valley.

berber village with mosque in asni valley between marrakech and atlas amountains

Feb 232017
 

I figured that after yesterday’s photo of Moorish architecture in Spain it made sense to followup with ornate architecture from Morocco. This is a facade of one of the interior courtyards of the Ben Youssef Madrasa which is in an old Islamic school located in the Medina.

carved facade in the central courtyard of the ben youseff madrasa with blue partly cloudy sky

Feb 072017
 

Wandering through the market in Marrakesh we came across two guys in a shop taking turns working on a bow lathe. It is operated by using one hand to draw the bow back and forth, spinning the wood. And then a hand and a foot were used to carefully move the gouge to carve out intricate little designs. It was mesmerizing and I stood and watched for a while. I’ve taken two photos so you can see a close up of how it works.

wood turning in marrakech souk on a bow lathe

close up of bow laithe in use in marrakech souk

 

Jan 282017
 

I had a great time in Marrakesh last weekend, including a camel ride in the foothills of the Atlas mountains and a return to the food tour I went on two years ago. The picture below is actually from that tour two years ago. Unfortunately, the bakery was closed this time.

What you see below is the local oven where bread is baked. The locals don’t have ovens in their own homes. Instead, they prepare their meals for the oven and drop them at the bakery. While we were there we saw all sorts going in, most of all rows of sardines. The oven is effectively a huge clay room where wood is burned on one side. The operator spends the whole time in that small space in front of the oven entrance, being handed items to place in the oven.

baker in marrakech baking bread

Jan 222017
 

This is the last of my photos from sub Saharan Africa. I’d like to say that I stalked this fellow in the wild to get up good and close before taking this picture, but that’s not the case. I was on a walking tour with two lions. Shortly before arriving we were told that they were on the verge of being too old to walk with people as they were reaching maturity and would become aggressive. They were going to be released into the wild in an effort to repopulate the area at the end of the season.

adolescent white lion on lion walk in zambia