Morocco Recap : Part 1 - Marrakech

If you remember from my earlier post, the whole point of going to Morocco was to gather inspiration for the construction of our home this summer. I fully expected to go there and find new inspiration I would want to incorporate into our house. Instead I found the backstory to all the design cues that Bercy Chen had incorporated into our design. I can honestly say I left the country with way more appreciation for the work Bercy Chen has done.

 Inside the  Museum de Marrakech

Our 14 day stay in Morocco can be broken into three parts. We spent the first 4 days in Marrakech. It was a colorful blurry of small alleys winding every which way, and both after booth of goods. Everything from carpets (rugs) to scarves and pottery and spices and on and on. Because of my beard every vendor called me Ali Baba (I guess he had a beard too), which I guess is a common thing there. At first I was confused, but when I figured it out it became a fun joke that followed us everywhere we went. I don't have many photos of the sights in the streets because it feels a bit voyeuristic to be taking photos of people just trying to go about their daily life. The few I did snap were take as unobtrusively as possible. 

 Grinding spices by hand.

Grinding spices by hand.

 Natural dyes (except the yellow looking one) used to dye wool.

Natural dyes (except the yellow looking one) used to dye wool.

 Wool boiling in a vat of dye.

Wool boiling in a vat of dye.

 The end result. 

The end result. 

 A lonely side alley.

A lonely side alley.

 Thes tunnels were everywhere when you get off the beaten path.

Thes tunnels were everywhere when you get off the beaten path.

The riads in Marrakesh are crazy. You have absolutely no idea from the street what they are going to look like inside. From the alley it's just another wooden door in the middle of a long skinny alley. The magic opens up inside with gorgeous interior courtyards, fountains, pools and plants. To get inside as many of these spaces as possible we visited museums, took cooking classes, visited hammams (traditional bath houses, often times now high end spas) and ate dinners at different restaurants. Here's a sample of some of those places.

 Palais de la bahia

Palais de la bahia

 Palais de la bahia

Palais de la bahia

 Lazy cat outside of  Palais de la bahia

Lazy cat outside of Palais de la bahia

 Looking down into the riad where we took a cooking class.

Looking down into the riad where we took a cooking class.

 The view of the roof. Our upper deck will have a similar feel looking down into our backyard courtyard.

The view of the roof. Our upper deck will have a similar feel looking down into our backyard courtyard.

 Cooking in a tagine.

Cooking in a tagine.

 The end result!

The end result!

 Post hammam at El Fenn. Great inspiration for our backyard pool. 

Post hammam at El Fenn. Great inspiration for our backyard pool. 

 Another view

Another view

 A cozy reading nook at El Fenn. In love with the herring bone tile and those shadows.

A cozy reading nook at El Fenn. In love with the herring bone tile and those shadows.

 More of those magical lights. 

More of those magical lights. 

 A view of the souks at night. 

A view of the souks at night. 

 And a view of  Koutoubia Minaret.

And a view of Koutoubia Minaret.

Of course no trip to Marrakesh would be complete with out a trip to the amazing Jardin Majorelle. It is as expected, quite magical. The colors are so rich and I was surprised to see such a rich collection of plants, many of which we have right here in Texas. We definitely got some landscaping inspiration here. 

 Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle