in search of gardens in marrakech

Our G Adventures tour was officially over, but Susan and I had one more day in Marrakech. After a late wake up and breakfast in the hotel, I chatted with Father Anthony in the lobby.  His flight to leave Morocco wasn’t until Tuesday the 30th, but he didn’t want to stay in Marrakech that long, so our guide Aziz was helping him to book a stay in a mountain resort somewhere.  Rene and Gabe moved to another hotel, and Edward and Elizabeth moved to a riad near the medina for the night.

The Chinese ladies would fly out later in the afternoon, and they looked like they’d had enough. Theresa from China was one person in the group I’d rarely talked to.  She hardly knew any English.  The entire trip she wore either a yellow rain jacket with a hood and a mask, or an orange puffy jacket.  The mask was almost a constant.  Many of the Chinese ladies got sick, as did Rene and Susan.  It seemed Anthony was fed up, as were many of us.

Susan and I walked twenty minutes to Jardin Majorelle but the line was hundreds of people long and we weren’t game to stand in it.  It was frustrating because I was looking forward to seeing the amazing gardens and the cobalt blue walls I’d seen pictured so often on Instagram. The original owner was French landscape painter Jacques Majorelle, who began to work on the gardens in the 1920s, opening it to the public in 1947. After abandoning the gardens due to health issues, it went into decline, until Yves Saint Laurent and his partner bought and restored the gardens beginning in 1980.  He eventually gifted the entire garden to Marrakech, the city that adopted him in 1964 after he 1) launched hippie fashion, and 2) earned fame as a ground-breaking gay icon. The gardens are apparently now a psychedelic explosion of 300 plant species – water lilies, lotus flowers, cacti, palm trees – from five continents.

After giving up on the gardens, we walked back to the hotel and then up Mohammad V, passing by some of the 6km of walls around the old medina.  Along the modern commercial boulevard, we stopped in H&M, where I bought a pair of baggy cotton white and gray striped capris to take to Italy, and Susan bought a skirt.


wall around the old medina


official looking building

We walked all the way to Ensemble Artisanal, a cooperative with most of the goods we had seen in the souqs. We spent a lot of time here.  I bought a copper and brass hand of Fatima, another scarf in pinks and purples, two pairs of earrings and a bracelet.  I loved the tiled walls, ornate ceilings and refreshing fountains.


Ensemble Artisanal


Ensemble Artisanal


Ensemble Artisanal


Ensemble Artisanal


Ensemble Artisanal

After our shopping spree, we had a lunch of mixed salad (pasta, rice, beets, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and boiled eggs) and frites. My stomach was doing somersaults after eating that.

Then we took a walk in the park across from the cooperative, Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam, which was pleasant, shady, and not crowded. The original park was built in the eighteenth century for Prince Moulay Abdessalam. The Cyberparc refers to its internet kiosks and WiFi, which were added in 2005. We wandered lackadaisically through palms, pachysandra, agave and grasses and bougainvillea.


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam


Cyber Parc Arsat Moulay Abdeslam

We then walked past Koutoubia Mosque, then up to the square Djemaa el-Fna, but we didn’t go all the way into it; we stopped short and turned back to walk down a line of horses and buggies.


Koutoubia Mosque


Koutoubia Mosque


Djemaa el-Fna


walkway to Djemaa el-Fna


walkway to Djemaa el-Fna

Walking back down Mohammad V, we stopped in a little bar for refreshing ice cream cones.


Ice cream cone to cool off

It was quite hot by then, but we walked all the way back to the hotel, stopping first at the Atlas Cafe for a cafe au lait. We then walked around checking out menus and found a Petit Thai restaurant near the Jus Bar.

Back at the hotel, I put up more photos on Instagram and texted Mike and stretched out a bit.  I organized all my stuff to take on to Rome the next day.

Susan and I went out for dinner to the Petit Thai Restaurant, surrounded by Buddha faces, and pictures of stupas and bamboo forests. Here we shared a Pad Thai with shrimp and a dessert of chocolate rolls with two ice creams and strawberries.  Then we headed back to the hotel to finish organizing for our separate onward trips the following morning.


Petit Thai Restaurant

*Steps: 20,548, or 8.71 miles*

*Monday, April 22, 2019*


“PROSE” INVITATION: I invite you to write up to a post on your own blog about a recently visited particular destination (not journeys in general). Concentrate on any intention you set for your prose.

It doesn’t matter whether you write fiction or non-fiction for this invitation.  You can either set your own writing intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: prose. You can also include photos, of course.

One of my intentions for my travels in Morocco was this:  Write about mundane places: markets, hotels, restaurants, etc. by describing three telling details about them. In this case, I’m writing about the most mundane day of our trip.  There really wasn’t much to write about it!

Include the link in the comments below by Monday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this invitation on Tuesday, May 26, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!