Mohammed suggests we visit the Majorelle Gardens early to beat the masses. Great idea since it is ranked one of the five most beautiful gardens in the world. The moment you walk thru the gate you immediately step into a serene atmosphere complete with Koi pond and artist studio. The contrast of colors draws the eye immediately....bright yellow, electric blue and brilliant orange amongst the cacti and flora that share this city space.
YSL is memorialized in the garden . His LOVE posters are on display in the quaint gallery situated on the garden grounds.
We head to the Qurika Valley and Botanical Garden to learn about some of the herbs and spices the Moroccans grow and use for culinary and
medicinal purposes. We are treated to a Berber Foot Bath which we all love and a delicious lunch under the garden pergola. What a beautiful day!
Tonight a group of us decide to hire a horse-drawn carriage ... again ... for another ride to the Djemaa el Fna Square. We want to make the most of our stay here and really get the feel of Marrakesh! So, arrangements are made and off we go.
Do you remember "the monkey incident?" And how I said I learned my lesson with a firm "No!"? Well, as we were walking around the square "taking
in the sites (these people invented the word....bizarre"......a woman walked up to me holding up a photo book and said "henna?" I nodded... no. She stopped me and took my hand and with her other hand started to paint something on my hand. Amazingly, I caught on fast and with a loud firm "No!" I pulled my hand away. She turned and moved onto someone else without the blink of an eye. Had it not been for the expensive lesson I learned a few days before I could have been taken for a few more dollars today. It was an expensive lesson that monkey taught me but well worth it. You pay for your lessons in life and you either learn from them or ....you don't. Many "vendors" and scammers will try their hand at squeezing you for money. I never felt in danger but you do need to be aware of your surroundings and be firm with your responses and your boundaries.
Curiosity certainly draws you in....it is a circus-like atmosphere with snake charmers, people selling teeth!....monkey handlers, food vendors, music, dancers and acrobats, contortionists, boxing matches and all the while... street scammers and pick pockets competing for your money and attention. The maze of narrow alleyways takes you from one experience to another. It is certainly different and exotic. I think I've used all the verbs and adjectives I can think of to describe the overwhelming sensory overload you experience here.
It's dark and late and we decide to head back for some dinner. Once again, I'm loving the experience!