Morocco, A Visual Journey

Old Aug 18th, 2018, 12:31 PM
  #241  
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Sadly, this was our last day with our friend, Salem. And after 2 weeks of traveling with him, yes, he definitely became a friend to us. So our return to Marrakech was a bit sad - not only were we coming to the end of the trip, but it was also time to say goodbye to our delightful companion.

Our last 2 nights were spent in Marrakech at the Riad du Rabbin. My review on TripAdvisor:
The riad is in a quieter part of the city at the edge of the mellah, and it is very pretty to look at, but we found that the place was eerily quiet most of the time we were there and we felt very much on our own in a not very comfortable way. The amenities are nice, the room is pleasant, but with only 3 rooms and a manager whose presence was limited, we found we were alone much of the time we were there. While a small riad could feel intimate, this did not - rather, it felt rather lacking in much human interaction. It didn't lack for amenities and generally it is attractive, and breakfast was good, so it's certainly a decent place to stay; but it missed the boat for us.

In retrospect, it was not a bad place at all as far as the room or amenities, but the limited contact with staff made it uncomfortable. I wrote elsewhere that one of the things that I really liked on their website was the small pool, which is now mostly paved over. This irked me no end as it seemed to be selling a vision that is no longer there: https://www.riad-du-rabbin.com/

The Riad du Rabbin (today
)





If you look at the website, and look at the above photos, you'll see the difference. It's not bad, but it's not what is shown. Still, it's a decent place, and they had a good breakfast and the amenities in the room were good. If there were more of a presence of people around, it would've felt much more welcoming.

Last edited by progol; Aug 18th, 2018 at 12:34 PM.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 05:00 AM
  #242  
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Our last day in Marrakech was surprisingly busy; we visited several museums and other sights, and wandered the streets far away from the hectic and overwhelming Jemaa el-Fnaa. Although we didn't care that much for the Riad du Rabbin, it was pleasant staying in a quieter part of the medina.

The first place that I had planned to visit was the Ben Youssef Madrasa. After spending who knows how long trying to find it and convinced that we were standing near the entrance, we discovered that it was closed for restoration. Ah well, we are finding this everywhere we go. Nearby was the Marrakech museum, so we made a stop here instead. This is a late 19th century building, the Dar Menebhi Palace, that was turned into a museum; the art was not especially interesting, and I wouldn't have gone out of my way for this museum, but the atrium was striking, with its huge metal chandelier-like hanging. And finally, it was close to noon, the opening time for the stellar Maison de la Photographie, a small photography museum, yet a real gem with a remarkable collection of photos and films of the history of Morocco. This was well worth going out of the way to visit! Outside of the museum was also one of the best musicians we had heard on our trip, and we stopped and listened to him for a while. A truly lovely voice, and a gentle face that captured us. The last musician of our trip, and a wonderful way to wrap up our musical memories!

We wandered the streets of the medina for a while, and somehow ended up in the area where there are several tanneries. It felt less touristy here, but not especially pleasant. We were looking for the gate that was closest to the Jardin Majorelle, the very popular garden that was created by a French artist in the 20s, and bought by Yves St-Laurent in the 80s. After finding the gate, we took a taxi to the museum and waited an hour to get in! The garden was pretty, though very crowded, but it was really the Berber museum that is the standout.

Finally, we had enough of touring! Back to riad to pack up and rest. Our time in Morocco and, warts and all, it was a fascinating trip.

Wandering


Entering the closed market near our riad








The Marrakech Museum




Outside the Maison de la Photographie - a wonderful musician!


Near the tanneries - this felt very local, not so touristy


Loved these jars!




The Majorelle Gardens with its gorgeous art studio, now turned into the excellent Musee Berbere
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 05:21 AM
  #243  
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And a special treat for all of you for following along on this visual journey with its musical theme threading through it: the lovely Marrakech musician, whose singing really moved us:

https://vimeo.com/user86494309/revie...225/54bef93f27

Thanks for sharing this journey with me!
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 08:40 AM
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I'm sad for your journey to come to an end. This has been a spectacular TR. Kudos to you for taking the time to select the enticing photos and providing such descriptive details.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 10:26 AM
  #245  
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Thanks, yestravel! I’m really pleased that you’ve enjoyed the report, especially since we’ve shared this trip in so many ways! I must admit, I’m a bit sad that it’s done, too, but it is fun to see it unfold and experience it in its entirety.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 11:46 AM
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Greetings from Berlin! Thank you so very much for a most excellent report - and for rekindling my interest in Morocco.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 12:17 PM
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What an awesome trip report!! Thank you Progol for your hard work. Putting it all together must've taken hours and hours, but was hopefully a delightful trip down memory lane. It is a great pictorial reference for future Morocco planners.

Totally understand your frustration at the last riad. I've kicked myself in retrospect with some lodgings, wondering later how or why I chose them...then realize the way the places marketed themselves contributed to the decision.Grrrr...
Still, what trip goes 100% perfectly as planned?

The vimeo link doesnt work. )-:
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 01:18 PM
  #248  
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Thanks for the greetings from Berlin, tp! I’m pleased that you’ve continued on this journey and I looked forward to your trip planning!

CaliNurse,, many thanks for the lovely words! Although it was time consuming, It really is great to have this diary of sorts to be able to revisit our trip. So it’s satisfying to have it done. And it sure made my trip last ��

Thanks for letting me know about the Vimeo link. I’ll have to figure that one out.
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Old Aug 19th, 2018, 01:43 PM
  #249  
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Marrakech musician:
https://vimeo.com/user86494309/revie...225/54bef93f27

i hope this works! It looks like the same,link, and it seems configured correctly. Anyone else? Able to view or not?
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 04:21 AM
  #250  
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HI, all,
Trying again with the video: would someone let me know if it works or not:
Marrakech musician:


Thanks!
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 07:25 AM
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I could hear & see the video shown in your post at 7:21. I think we saw the same guy
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 08:34 AM
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I'm glad it finally works! I'll bet he's a regular by the photography museum!
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Old Aug 20th, 2018, 10:28 AM
  #253  
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What a treat! Reading about your trip was both entertaining and informative, and the addition of all your beautiful photography was a fantastic bonus. Only a few weeks before we leave for Morocco (taking a ferry there after we travel south through Andalusia). So your report was especially timely and welcome. Thank you progol for creating it! And as CaliNurse points out, it will be a valuable resource for others.
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 02:49 AM
  #254  
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Thanks so much, rje! I'm so glad you enjoyed this report! Now that we are able to post photos, it certainly cuts down on having to actually describe a place -- so I'm especially pleased that you appreciated the pictures. Have a fabulous trip to Andalusia and Morocco -- I'm sure you will have a wonderful time and will be getting some amazing photos as they are both such visual places to visit.
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 03:14 AM
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Wow, a terrific trip report which revived so many memories. Thanks Paule !
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 03:42 AM
  #256  
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Thanks, Caroline! I'm pleased that this is bringing back good memories for you (at least, I hope they're good )!
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Old Aug 21st, 2018, 09:04 PM
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I've been on this forum for about 20 years and this is the best trip report I've ever read - and I've read hundreds! I would have enjoyed it in any case, but I found it because we ( a couple in our early 70s) are going to Morocco in the fall. We'll be following the basic tourist route - Fez, 5 days/4 nights with Desert Majesty to Marrakesh and ending with 3 nights in Essaouira. Aside from the driver/guide for 5 days we will be on our own but I think our riads will be very helpful to us. You have really given us such good tips and advice and I've made a note of the places of particular interest. After reading your report I think we will get a guide for half days on the 2 full days we will be in Fez as well as a half day guide in Marrakech to relieve us a bit from the hassle. Thank you so much for posting such a thoughtful and interesting and beautiful report!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2018, 02:46 AM
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linawood and akshay185 - thank you both so much!

linawood, I'm so pleased that this has been so helpful to you and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. The 3 nights in Essaouira will be very relaxing after the more intense experiences you'll have had. If there is anything else you want to know, feel free to ask here or to send me a message.

Paule
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Old Aug 23rd, 2018, 05:41 PM
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So interested to see Rabat and reading through the rest of the trip report too. delighted to see your photos.
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Old Aug 24th, 2018, 03:03 AM
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Hi, wtb,
Yes, Rabat was a very pleasant way to start the trip. Much less hectic than Fes or Marrakech, but with a surprising number of sights to see and it's sited beautifully on the water. We really enjoyed our gentle introduction to Morocco. Glad you enjoyed the photos!
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