Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Details

These first two photos are from Maison Tiskiwin, Bert Flint's House off rue riad zitoun laKadim.
He has an astounding collection of textiles and artifacts from all areas of the Sahara collected over many years and well documented.

Our friend R., who has lived in Nigeria, was lucky enough to have a long talk with him about the Touaregs and other tribes of the Sahara -people whose lives are changing fast.
The house - two courtyard houses really - is quite amazing and makes on want to move in immediately.
Here are the most luxuriant elephant ears I have ever seen.

Not quite sure how this 'chariot' (handcart) got in with the details of palaces and grand houses.
However, a very commonplace sight here.

This last picture has escaped from my ones of the Bahia Palace - that mecca for all who love painted doors and ceilings - and shabby chic.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


This is the studio where Robert works.
The Majorelle blue niche was there when we got the house. Other than that the whole room is white.

There is a good view out over the courtyard. So, even though the room is quite small it is very light.

IMG_0527.JPG, originally uploaded by schmidwix2.

Mimi likes to hang out there.
In fact she is quite a nuisance since she likes to sit on top of the computer or else on Robert's knee when he is trying to do things.
This is the cartoon for a life sized painting of a donkey.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Peaceful Friday

IMG_0047.JPG, originally uploaded by schmidwix2.

Two young brothers taking a nap just off rue riad Zitoun laKadim.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ice Cream Parlor that is no More

This ice cream parlor in Gueliz has been closed ever since we have lived in Marrakech.
It looks like the sort of place I would have gone too often.
There is something very traditional about the color scheme.

I am also a sucker for handpainted signs on shops.
The things that were once in offer here include ice cream cake and napoleons.
It also says it was a salon du the.
What more could one ask for?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ceiling Medallions

These rather odd looking things are ceiling medallions which are afixed round where the flex for the light bulb hangs out.
It was odd to see them out of context outside a shop.
We have the one second from the left directly above our bed.
It is a pity the photo isn't larger, because, if it was, you could see the funny little face with bug eyes and bat ears which looks down at us.
It's a bit like looking at clouds...........

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grand Hotel Tazi

The entrance to THE GRAND HOTEL TAZI at the end of a road that leads from Place Djemma El Fna out to a place where you can get taxis.
Stupidly, I thought "Tazi" had something to do with 'taxi' but , in fact, it's just a name.
Needless to say, as with almost anything I take a picture of, it's due for 'improvements'.
Part of the joy of Hotel Tazi is that it isn't the least bit improved.

Here some traditional musicians stand by the front entrance to entertain us.

The decor is amazing. Such a plethora of patterns. Overstuffed sofas and cut plasterwork and color upon color and pictures and who knows what else.
Glittering metallic holiday decorations hang from the ceiling.
They recently painted the main lounge and removed the yellow patina of decades' worth of nicotine stains.

Tazi's main claim to fame is that it is the place closest to Djemma El Fna that serves BEER -Heineken, Flag, Casablanca and Speciale.
Lots of people go there for exactly that reason.
Aging hippies and respectable folk and Moroccans and people who have recently been out in the desert - who you can tell by the redness of their faces.
One can sit there for hours marveling at the variety.
Taxi has a big color TV usually with the soccer on it but sometimes Arnold movies.

I mostly drink mint tea there. But they also give you lots of nuts and popcorn.
The clientele is often not in its first youth which sort of fits in with the general ambience.
Up the curving staircase, there are endless corridors with hotel rooms - lots and lots of them.
Behind the hotel there is a swimming pool which I have never swum in.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter

Some rabbits out in the country at Maryam's house.

IMG_0936.JPG, originally uploaded by schmidwix2.

Some lilies in the hall in derb Djedid.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We have been without people in this blog for almost a week. Hm......
This first picture shows the contrasts we see every on rue Dabachi.
The older man is very traditionally and elegantly dressed and the young man is most up to date.

Here some young women sweep past Cafe France.
Two have covered their hair and one hasn't. I think it's good that it seems to be an individual's own choice.

This shot was taken at the bus stop in Gueliz near the post office.
Note McDonald's on the other side of the road. A very popular spot.
On a Saturday evening, the crowd spills out onto the street and it's almost impossible to get past.

I took this picture of an older man with his wonderful cape from the aforementioned McDonald's. We have only been there once. I am sorry to say, I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pigeons and Sparrows

A pigeon enjoying some sort of berries in the Majorelle Gardens.

Free pickings for sparrows in Essouira.
No need to go foraging for yourself when the shop keeper has kindly opened his sacks for you.

IMG_0206.JPG, originally uploaded by schmidwix2.

Birds enjoy eating seeds on our roof .
We have to be rather careful that the cats aren't hanging around at the same time.
This can have disastrous results.
Mimi is an excellent huntress.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Donkeys and Horses

It's not until one gets away from Marrakech for a little while that you realise what a commonplace part the livestock play in everyday life.
In Manhattan, I may see a police horse once in a while. But I never see donkeys hauling anything.
This character above was waiting by a building site in Mouassine.

The caleches one sees all over the place aren't just for tourists. Late in the afternoon whole families climb aboard and drive down derb Dabachi heading home.
I'm sure they don't pay the enormous prices the caleche drivers want from me.
So I only go in caleches with Ghislan. She thinks it's very odd that there aren't any in common use in New York. The ones in Central Park don't count really.

This picture - taken from Cafe France - shows the usual modes of transportation here.
and, of course, the dreaded mopeds.

Two donkeys hanging about waiting on derb Djedid.
Quite a lot of most donkeys lives are spent waiting patiently for things.

This last donkey is waiting for something or other just near the mellah market on a very busy street.
I was sorry when I heard that most Moroccan donkeys don't have names.
They are just called 'the donkey'.

Friday, March 14, 2008


After all the excitement of rushing through all the doors in the world, we are sorely in need of refreshment.
The possibilities are endless.
This first pictures is of Cafe Negociant in Gueliz.
The man on the right is there every morning for several hours reading his news paper.

Some times I go to visit friends in the medina who put on an English tea in my honor.
However, if you look very carefully at the little pastries, you can tell we are still in Morocco.

We spend way too much time at Cafe France in Place Djemma ElFna.
The orange juice is wonderfully fresh and we can watch the world go by.

The Cafe at the Musee de Marrakech is a little more peaceful and out of the way.
The hot chocolate there is very good.

This cafe is exactly opposite Cafe Negociants on the corner of Boulevard Mohammed V and Boulevard Zerktouni.
I like the woman relaxing with her face turned to the sun.

Cafe Solaris is Gueliz has very good croissants
and orange juice
and coffee.
A friend of ours uses it as his 'office' and keeps office hours there every morning from 9:30 -11:30.
You can spend huge amounts of time hanging out in cafes and no one seems in the least bit of a rush.
Sometimes we are dying to escape to do vital errands and all the waiters vanish.
We try to bring pretty exact change with us because finding change in Morocco seems to be an insuperable problem.
If you hand in anything larger than a 20 dihram note, someone is sent round the universe to look for change and often doesn't reappear for a very long time.
It used to be like this years ago in Italy when they would insist on giving you little squares of chocolate instead of coins.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Doors of Marrakech

I'm spoiled for choice - Marrakech offers a wealth of fascinating doors in all sorts of different styles.
These doors are in the new cafe at the Jardin Majorelle.

In the Bahia Palace, these are the doors to an almost magical cupboard.
Since all the furnishing have vanished, one wonders what was once hidden inside.

A very stately and imposing door in the old medina.
Someone very important must live inside.

This door leads from the walled garden out into the olive grove at my friend J's house in the country.
From her veranda, you can look up at the Atlas Mountains.

These doors are in Gueliz. I don't think yellow is a very popular color for doors.
But I like them anyway.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


The picture above is of an electrical supply store in Gueliz - the new town of Marrakech.

As many of you know, lots of bloggers from around the world are going to post pictures of doors next Wednesday 12th.
Why don't you join in?
Frank Gardner has a list of participants on his blog.
The following people from my favorite blogs list on the right are hoping to participate - just click on the name of their blog -
Please let me, or Constance of Rochambeau, or Frank know if we have left you off our lists by mistake..........
Your name should appear somewhere
This is getting complicated to organize........Frank is obviously better at it than I am.

Melanie/France "The Little Cabinet of Curiosities"
Rima from "The Hermitage"/Scotland
Merisi from Vienna/Austria
Anne from "Pret a Voyager'/USA
Paz from New York/USA
Claudia from London/UK
Barrie Summy/USA
Down Under Dale/ Australia
Jennifer from "Art Words Life"/USA
Frank Gardner from "My Paintbox"/Mexico
The Aesthete from "Aesthete's Lament"/USA
Lala from "My Castle in Spain"/Spain
Mari/ Kameravena Finland
Kate and Roger/ USA "Skophammers"
Barbara/ UK Ramblings from an English Garden
Willow from "Willow's Cottage"/USA
Sara from "Much Ado about Something" and "All Around Us"/USA
Constance from "Rochambeau

Other participants include:Blissful Artist/USA
Terry Rafferty/USA
Julia Rose/Australia Verdigris Rose
Julie at Virtual Voyage/USA
Sue/UK "Magic Armchair Traveller"
Pigtown design/Baltimore/USA
Karen of "Artsortments"/USA
Madelyn of "Persisting Stars"/USA

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Complicated Patterns

This is a light in my study.
The metal light cover hides the awful naked bulb and throws patterns onto the wall.
The best light like this was a lantern in a castle south of Ouazzazatte -it had a candle inside rather than a light bulb.

This woven bamboo acts as a partial sunshade on the roof of Sherazade a small hotel on rue riad Zitoune.
The little tower you see (lower right) is the mosque next door.

As you walk down from the roof terrace there you see the wicker fence
and the reflection of the wrought iron railings.

These are old doors for sale near the Musee de Marrakech.
You have to fix them on the outside of the door entry.
Some of these doors come from south of the Sahara.

Back to my study with all its crazy patterns.
The curved bit is the shower floor with bejhmat tiles and the black and white swirly tiles are new, made by enterprising American friends here who have started their own tile company.

This is a plaster decoration over the sink - and another metal light cover which doesn't match the one at the other end of the room.
The metal light covers cost about $4 US each............
When we first bought them, with their artistically rusty-on-purpose patina, Sayeed, who was painting the house, urged us to let him paint them too.
He said the rust would be bad for our health.