This is the ornate central courtyard of the Ben Youssef Madrasa in the Marrakesh old town.
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.
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.
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.
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.