This blue house with a wonderful garden belonged to Yves St. Laurent. His house is now a Islamic Art Museum. The blue color of the house seems to integrate perfectly in the exhuberant garden.
It's located in the north of Gueliz, the modern part of the town. You can go there in the n?4 bus from Djema el Fnaa, or by horse carriage.
Entrance 20 Dh.
Feasting and Fantasia
The Chez Ali experience has been established now for over 25 years! This purpose built 11 hectare arena, a few miles from Marrakesh offers the chance to experience the sights and sounds of Moroccan musicians and dancers, while eating a 5 course meal in caidal tents.
Afterwards, a mock up of a traditional Fantasia is held, with acrobatic horsemen, parades of horses, belly dancers, singers, fireworks, music and the sight and sound of charging horsemen simultaneously firing their rifles into the night sky!
Most of the tour groups offer trips to this night time spectacle, well worth a visit!
Yes, it is a tourist attraction, geared up for tour groups, but It's quite well presented. As it was January, it was quite cold. The caidal tented rooms are heated, but the Fantasia is held outside, so I was glad of my coat, gloves and warm socks!
I'd dressed up a bit more than usual (It was my birthday, So I wanted to feel a bit smarter!)
Some diners entered into the spirit of the night by wearing jellabahs and 'toureg' style head wear ( Don't know if they'd come prepared, or had bought these items on arrival)
Photos taken as you arrive 20dh, but bring your own camera too!
Hunja...Recommended on a cold winters night!
Around Djemma El Fnaa, near the orange juice carts, you'll spot some stalls with copper cauldrens. These contain a local beverage known as hunja.
My curiosity got the better of me one night, and I joined the locals standing around the stalls, drinking glasses of this hot spicy beverage .
At the side of the stall are jars of the spices that make up the drink. Unfortunately I couldn't identify most of them, and no one could tell me what the recipe was (language barrier, not a trade secret!)
Accompanying the hunja, you are given a saucer with scoops of a spicy chocolate cake called tkaout - Mmmmmmm- Drink and cake for about 5dh!! Bargain!
If you're in Marrakesh in Winter, this is a must do, to warm you through! Hunja and cake!!..thats all they sell!
The hunja reminded me a bit of Masala tea that I'd drunk in Kerala, but even hotter!
If anyone knows the recipe, I'd be very grateful to be let in on this secret-- Would be great for a bonfire night party, or to carry in a vaccuum flask on a winter walk!
At night, the Djemaa el-Fna...
At night, the Djemaa el-Fna Square turns into the most fabulous of fables.....
With acetylene lamps all lighted up, you'd be able to catch some pretty interesting exhibitions and dances.... Some people even sit in circles here at the Square sipping the mythical Moroccan mint tea. And see the hundreds of light bulbs connected to simple electric wires forming a glowing canopy over the booths and shops... Quite an interesting sight!
If you're shopping/ strolling inside the souk, you'd certainly be awed by these Moroccan women dressed in their colorful traditional garb - with their faces (sans eyes) covered up! I couldn't peel my eyes off some of them... They looked so pretty - almost like Caucasians with blue eyes! :-)
I was so enthralled by them that I even bought a Moroccan traditional dress here costing me US$100 (it comes complete with a cape!). I can't wait to wear it out ONE DAY (I don't know WHEN... but I hope some Moroccan invite me to their house party soon).
Djemma el Fnaa
Wandering around the square, day or night, you'll probably encounter various 'games' (opportunities to lose your money!) such as card games or this bottle game.
I think the idea was to place a ring, attached to the end of a long cane over the bottle neck.
I'm not sure what the prize was, and I didn't see anyone succeed- but I saw a lot who thought they would!!
Enjoy watching ever hopefuls try, but be aware of where your purse/wallet are, while watching- crowds gather and it might be an opportunity for a pick pocket to strike. Oh and be careful if you are called on to try your luck!!!