Friday, May 16, 2008



For many people when you speak of Morocco you mean Marrakesh, the second largest city in the country after Casablanca, and earlier known to travellers as «Morocco City». Started to be built in 1070, in the plain near the Atlas Mountains, as a new capital for the Almoravid leader Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar, it reached its apogee under the leadership of Yacoub el Mansour, the third Almohad sultan. Having been an imperial capital (like Fez, Meknes and Rabat), it's still nowadays a cultural crossroads, which has attracted many foreigners to the flourishing real estate market!

"AVENUE YARMOUK, in the residential area of Hivernage. For some reason Marrakesh is named the red city; the ramparts of the Medina make justice to the name"

"STOP - After a long journey from Rabat, through Casablanca (the Casablanca-Marrakesh Expressway was not yet fully completed - it opened on April 17th, 2007), we were supposed to stop!"

"RED HOUSE HOTEL - Opened in 1923, the La Mamounia Hotel closed on July 1st, 2006 for a major renovation under the direction of Jacques Garcia; it's scheduled to reopen later in 2008. Meanwhile we used the Red House, a small hotel in Av. Yarmouk, quite close to the La Mamounia"

"SWIMMING POOL - Beautifully inscribed in the gardens of the hotel, the tables around provide an excellent venue for breakfast or lunch"

"GARDEN - With some exotic species, it's a quiet oasis from the bustle of the almost nearby Main Square"

"RESTAURANT - A wonderful choice of Moroccan specialities: Pastilla stuffed with pigeon and almonds, Tajine of lamb and prunes, and finally Pastilla with milk, cinnamon and almonds make a lovely (not so healthy though) meal..."

"LOBBY -Waiting for the check-in to be completed..."

"SUITE ROYALE - One of the three existing"


"CHEZ ALI - It could be a tourist trap, but the Marrakesh Fantasia at Chez Ali was a nice choice for dinner and entertainment on the first night in the city!"


"SINGERS - Some really incredible voices here"



"DAKKA MARRAKCHIA - A troop with a traditional repertoire"





Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! Hope you enjoy this first post of the Red City! To make it easier for your much appreciated comments, I removed the word verification. Hopefully I won’t get too much spam around…

alicesg said...

Wow very lovely photos. You looked so pampered in here. :)

Anonymous said...

Did you like living almost like a sultan ;)
And a red city seems to be quite right name for this decorative city.

Good weekend to you almost sultan and your only wife !

Unknown said...

oh fav city and love those sexy, happy weeeknd :)

Lakshmi said...


What a coincidence I am engrossed in your posts and envying your royal experience and there pops a message that you have left a comment on my post ..

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Fantastic!!! Gil...
I love this shots of reall Marrakesh. Yes!! I truly remember this great place:'the dancing, the food, the restaurants inside, how people traditionally are dressed and more. '

THANKS for showing this photography , this is bringing back my memory from this place, You are really enjoying yourself here right?

last week I could not visit anyone because of a disturbing in the Dutch telecom company, I really was "out of order" haha, now you can see the small result. I stayed outside (forest) most of the week, because the weather was SO GREAT last week, good thing over a bad thing (bad= having no internet) anyhow I enjoy looking at your 'adventures " in Marroco very much!!!" very sunny too:)

Come and see my (friday) abstract and reflected sky.

JoAnn's D-Eyes (now in Holland)
-soon in Spain-...

Chris said...

OLA. Gil! What beautiful buildings. It brings back memories of our day in Tangier last fall. I'm amazed at the beauty of the detail work in their architecture.

Hope all is well with you!


Marie-Noyale said...

Fireworks for your arrival in the Red City!!!
You've got the Special Treatment...

I remember La Mamounia ,many years ago.
Should be interesting to see what Mr Garcia does with the place...
Hope you got a chance to see Taphraout and Ouarzazate.
You seem to enjoy your stay in Morocco!!

Noushy Syah said...

Wow..what a friendly reception with traditional attire and beautiful Moroccon women! Awesome..

No belly dancing?lolz..hehehhe.

Beautiful different ambience from the European culture,something amazing precisely.Hope you had a gr8 time there.

Take care.

S-V-H said...

Very nice and interesting post, Gil. You look in that sofa almost like a "Sheik" out of "1000+1 Nacht" :-)

I enjoyed your pictures very much.

chanpheng said...

Beautiful pictures. Another place I dream of going. That camel looked pretty mean - did you get a chance to ride him?

It reminds me of traveling in India 20 years ago and spending a few days riding camels in Rajastan in the desert. Pretty incredible, though it would be tough to do it all the time!

RuneE said...

I have never been to Morocco, but having looked through your entries here, I feel that you have made a marvellous guide-book of sights to be seen - with illustrations to match.

However, my personal favourite was the reflection by the pool - it could have fooled me!

PS Thank you for the nice comment!

Azer Mantessa said...


ooo man ... just by looking at these pictures, i feel royalty.

'qaf' means stop. the only morrocan word i know and thanks to you


Anonymous said...

What an enchanting country! I'm enjoying ALL your photos of Morocco. Thank you!


Chuckeroon said...

Heh Up! Trotter! Glad you liked the "Photogrphic model" (poor girl). Having a fine photo of Marakessh framed and hanging on the office wall here it is guaranteed that my wife at least will be spending hours on your Casa & Mara series.

Sorry that Richmond Riverside appeared hazy....but, boy oh boy, it wasn't half sweaty on that day. I guess the camera picked it up ;-)

Lara said...

a wonderful place to visit! the photos are great!

Dan said...

Gil, until I looked through your fantastic photos I don't think Morocco would have been on my list of places to see, but thanks to you I am anxious to go.

Why were there so many holes on what looked to be a city or fortress wall? Were these fighting positions or has something been removed?

My trip to Rome was fantastic. I was very careful not to let 5 days of meeting interfere with perfect sightseeing weather. I will be posting the pics from the trip over the next couple of weeks so check back on my blog from time to time.

Lastly, how do you get to travel to such great places? Is it part of your job? Are you independently wealthy? Running from the law? (Just kidding on the last, your not running from the law are you?)

Emery Roth said...

You go such interesting places. Thanks for taking us along. The light is especially beautiful in your shot of the ramparts of Medina. I also enjoyed going through the Cassablanka shots. the mosque looks like an amazing place and your photos convey it beautifully.

travelphilippines said...

wow if you will booked a villa at nami then i will have to book a room at red hotel hehe. once again a fantastic journey. when can i be like you? hehe

Anonymous said...

Hi Gil, I am glad you enjoyed seeing my favorite beach. Thank you for the Casa beach photos.....always so interesting. ~ Lynn

alok said...

Fantastic !!! photographs, I nojoyed the post as if I had a trip to that place :)

You have really a wonderful blog and thanks for dropping by at my blog & comment.

You have a good day :)

Anonymous said...

What amazing photos of red city !! And you lived like a real sultan there, eh ?

Ming the Merciless said...

The colors of the buildings and clothes are amazing. They really do love strong colors unlike NYC where almost everyone wears black.

The hotel lobby and bedroom suites are so luxurious. And you must be a very important person (VIP) to have a book signing.

Are you famous, like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?

Dick said...

Thinking about Morocco I see a lot of sand but your pictures let me see something different. Very nice.

Irina said...

Hi Gil,

thanks a million for your visits to my blog and sorry about not returning them properly. But every time I get a chance I come to read your amazing stories.

Morocco photos are awesome! They give a feeling like diving back into past, some centuries ago. Magnificent pictures of ancient beauty mixed with modern luxury. I hope one day I will see it myself :)

indicaspecies said...

Fantastic pictures, and your experience must have been good! Much of the culture can be identified with this part of the world.

The second picture reads 'Qef' (though there is no accurate spelling of Arabic words in English language) meaning 'stop' :)

lv2scpbk said...

Wow, great photos and looks like you were having a good time. Love the color of the dresses on the ladies. The red room looked lovely where you're sitting on the couch. I really like the color of the buildings. Looks like they have a reddish tint or pinkish not sure which, but I like it. And, that pool looked very inviting.

leo said...

thank u so much for not giving up on me (by visiting and leaving comments in me blog ^_^)
reception in style indeed!! the red building and all the pics remind me of 1001 arabian nights tales but now with a new character - Sultan Gil lol. i hope i will be able to experience it all, one day.

Steve Buser said...

Another in a long line of great tours. Bring them on, I'm not getting tired of them, I'm just beginning to think of some other places I'd like to get a close up look at.

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

La chaîne d'union effectuée par les chanteuses est une des plus belles que j'ai pu voir.

Tinsie said...

WOW! Great photos - such opulence! My fave, however, is the STOP sign ;-)

My Unfinished Life said...

lovely description and pics!!..i have seen lots of documentaries and programs on seems to be an exotic place!!!....though i doubt if it can be more exotic than India.....

Anonymous said...

Impressive photos! Especially the first one. The castle walls is quite unique. A great photo to add to your collection.

Sorry for not visiting your blog for the past few weeks, I was really busy. I had just posted a new article, and I've also added you to my blogroll. :D Hope to see you there!

Have a nice weekend.

Alex's World! -

Lynette said...

Marrakesh--vivid, splendid, exotic. My goodness, but your photo tell a wonderful tale. I've browsed all of the recent posts and believe that I cannot choose a favorite photo. All three cities, the history, the structures, boggle the mind.

Oh, in my rolling black bag, I carry my camera, extra battery and memory cards, raincoat and rain hat when I'm not wearing them, sometimes another pair of shoes and/or a sweater, notebook, paperback book, all sorts of stuff. Often there is plenty of room left for a stop at the neighborhood grocery on the way home, too. I'm a big fan of the wheel!

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

Another great set of photos! Looks like a very royal place. Love the stop sign photo.

Beefybob7 said...

Hi Gil,

Stop sign reminded me of speed bumps. Sounds like you didn't stop.

Oh well. Your friends have all posted nice comments. Some welcome you received.


Neva said...

For some reason these photos really struck me as gorgeous..the reflections by the pool are awesome and the pastels on the do have quite the eye for photos....I appreciate your do get around!

Jules said...

I always feel I've been on a long exotic holiday after visiting you !!!

PeterParis said...

The Red House looks like a very good replacement! Will think about it. Planning for a short (long weekend) trip this autumn. Thanks for the address! I'm sure your hotel and restaurant advice is the best!

Nikon said...

Really stunning colors, Gil
I think that this series of photos from all of your Northern Africa stops are some of your very best!

hpy said...

I remember driving crash cars at a local fiesta, a long time ago. Marrakech is a very beautiful place.

Marie said...

Thank you very much for still visiting my blog when I'm such a pitiful blogger friend for the moment! I'm leaving in two weeks and nothing is ready yet.

I've never been to Morocco but I'm sure I'd love it there. The colors are wonderful.

Olivier said...

c'est magnifique, c'est un vrai paradis sur terre. est ce que tu as assisté a des fantasias ? j'adore ça.

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! Once again thanks for taking your time to comment here.

Alice SG,
Pamper yourself should be first rule of the learned traveller… ;))

Almost sultan; the only difference is the «almost»… ;))

Sex(y) City? That must be New York City…

Some people say that there is some kind of thought transfer… ;)

So you remember the dance; can imagine you having fun in Marrakesh! I was there in November 2006…

Olá! Tudo bem?
You’ll have even more detail work in the next posts. A wonderful job…

Lucky girl at La Mamounia… ;)
Couldn’t make Taphraout and Ouarzazate. Next time…

Noushy Syah,
That was a great trip! Belly dancing? Wait a moment… ;)

Thanks! That sofa was actually a sultan-like treat…

True that the camel was a bit excited while trying to stand with someone on its back…
Can imagine you riding camels in Rajasthan!

Morocco has some lovely spots to be seen, but that happens almost everywhere; it’s not such a small world and it’s mostly beautiful…

That it meant stop, I knew; thanks for educating me that it was «qaf»…

You’re always welcome…

Great to have a picture framed…

Morocco is a great place to visit, but you should make it from Lisbon… ;))

Put Morocco on your list and come through Lisbon!
Don’t know the reason for the holes of the Medina wall and the gardens!
Glad to read that Rome was wonderful!
Now travel: in March 2006 Clarence asked something similar and I posted the following reply:

«OK. Let’s try some “Rules to Improve a Young Man’s Capabilities to Travel”:

1. Begin with the reading: “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” or better “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog” will do;
2. Choose a career which allows you to travel a lot – concierge is not recommended!;
3. Start hitch-hiking – see references at “Blogtrotter Revival” or, safer nowadays, embark on a Student’s Exchange Programme;
4. Get an occupation where you get paid for travelling – for the purpose of enjoying trips, working as a travel agent seems to be only a last instance’s option;
5. Build your Travellers’ image: Marco Polo, Fernão Mendes Pinto, Vasco da Gama, Cabral, Magalhães – aka Magellan -, Columbus...
6. Like Bruce Chatwin, make choices: Sotheby’s/Sunday Times Magazine or “Have gone to Patagonia”? Buy or travel?
7. Choose your motto: “Navigare necesse est; vivere non est necesse” (Gnaeus Pompeius – 108/46 BC - aka Pompey the younger commanding frightened sailors during a severe storm – “to sail is necessary; to live is not necessary”);
8. It works? You will be able to quote Benjamin Disraeli: “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen”;
9. Doesn’t work? Why not trying to join the Salvation Army?…» ;)))

Ted Roth,
Agree with you with regard to the splendid light of Marrakesh!

Fair enough the swap of the villa at Nami with the room at the Red House!!
As for the rest, have a look at the preceding «Rules»…

Casablanca beach doesn’t seem comparable to Nags Head…

You’re welcome; a pleasure to drop by yours!

«Almost» sultan, like Leena put it… ;))

The colours in Marrakesh are awesome!
Now Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt? Who are they? ;)))

There is much more than sand in Morocco as you may see here… ;)

So glad to see you back here! And I’m sure you’ll make it to Morocco one day…

It was an incredible experience!
«qef» or «qaf», like Azer wrote, it’s surely stop… ;)

Also love that picture sitting on the couch… and the pool was great, though the water temperature in November was far from being warm… ;)

It’s a pleasure to drop by at your blog! «Almost» Sultan… ;))

Thinking of new places? That’s the problem of this world: it’s not that small… ;)

C’est vrai que la chaîne des chanteuses était magnifique…

The stop sign was probably the first time I took a photo thinking that I would post it… ;))

Shooting Star,
You’re right: exotic, but not as much as India…

The walls of the medina are fabulous!
I’ll check your new post!

Those three cities are quite interesting; but Marrakesh is the best!
Amazing what you carry with you on the rolling bag… ;))

That stop sign is a success!

The best of the pool in November were the reflections… ;))

Exotic? Oh dear, my idea of exotic is PNG… ;))

If the La Mamounia is still closed, the Red House is quite nice place to stay… Marrakesh in autumn is a good choice!


A crash car in a local fiesta? Everything happens in Marrakesh… ;))

Where are you leaving to?
Morocco is just across the Mediterranean…

Les fantasias étaient amusantes, même si un peu trop «touristy»… ;))

Indrani said...

Music, good food, fireworks... life is zing. (Am I envying? ;) )

Loved the snap of yours in the colorful and cosy lobby. :)

Thanks for your comments at my blog.

kuanyin333 said...

Wow--such great photos! I traveled there in my 20's...and I'll never forget when my partner and I drove through the Atlas mountain villages where everyone was dressed in head to toe black with ancient whitewashed buildings...I sure wish I still had those photos!

Anonymous said...

I'm still enjoying that couch picture today... ;)

It's different today; not so much black, but lots of veils!

NormanTheDoxie said...

Did you ride the camel?

The couch looks so comfy, but I would love to lounge by that pool!

Happy travels :-)

Anonymous said...

I didn't ride that camel; he didn't seem to enjoy getting people on its back for the picture... ;)
The couch picture is one of my favourites; almost 1001 nights...

Joy said...

I love the mixture of the traditional Arabic culture and the western one. How fab is the lobby? Did you really ride a camel?

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments. Enjoy the week ahead!

A Pinay In England
Your Love Coach
I, Woman

Anonymous said...

Also love that lobby! But didn't ride the camel... ;))

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

Hmmm...definitely miss Marrakech!

Trotter said...

I'm sure you do!!!

Unknown said...

Your pictures tell why Marrakech is the 'red city'. There is red or shades of it in every pic! tho the lobby is the richest red ;)
Nice pic of chez ali too
its one of the top 10 things to do in marrakech

GMG said...

It seems I made your top ten, but didn't pay your spam prices... ;)