Sunday, 30 October 2011

Marrakech, Morocco - going down the memory lane, episode 1

Hello all!!

The clocks have gone back one hour here in the UK and I used that extra hour to look at my old albums. There is no doubt that the digital age have afforded us to experiment with photography (in particular us amateurs), to take as many pictures as we want to; to delete at our will and still have lots of space on the memory card. Remember the days when you had to be choosy as to what you take a picture of as the films were expensive and developing of the images was even more dear? And then, there was always the fear that if you exposed film without realising it, your developed pictures will all come out the same - black.
So, here is to the digital era! But,... there is always a but!!! Pictures that we take on our digital cameras are rarely developed and the images stay on our computers. We look at them once, maybe twice and that's about it. So, I've decided to remedy that situation and go back and look at the pictures I have taken over the years and see what captured my eye then, 3-4-5 years ago. 
And so I stumbled upon an album of pictures I took in September 2007. This was very exciting time for me. I have made one of the biggest decisions in my life; I left a job I've been in for almost 8 years, took a big loan and was about to start my Masters in performance at our one of the best drama schools in Europe. Scary and exciting at the same time. And to start off the new adventure in my life, I took a holiday to Marrakech, Morocco with my best friend. Here are a few pictures of that exciting time in my life. I hope you'll enjoy the trip down the memory lane as much as I have (as always, click on the image to enlarge).

We went to Morocco at the time of Ramadan and so it is only fitting to start the album with the biggest mosque in Marrakech, Koutoubia (1184 - 1199). It means "librarian" in Arabic as the area was surrounded by the sellers of religious manuscripts at the time it was built. It is a beautiful and majestic building.

Right next to the mosque we found a wonderful cafe that even though it was Ramadan, was serving the best cakes and ice creams throughout the day. Of course, if you showed up at 7pm, just as the fast ended for the day, they would totally ignore you while they broke the fast and had their food inside the cafe. We would patiently sit outside in the garden and dream of the ice creams we were to have. There was something magical and unspoken in this agreement. People who worked there, served us food when they themselves couldn't eat. They did it with a smile on their face, without any judgement that we tourists, foreigners are not following their customs. The same went for when we were ignored while it was their time to eat. We understood that it was now their time to nourish their body and soul and we gave our respect by patiently waiting. Of all things I have seen and experienced in Morocco, I think this unspoken respect and acceptance of each other is what moved me the most.

I know, it is a stereotype, but when you think of Morocco, you think colour. And colour we definitely found in there. Here are a few images that popped out as I was leafing through the images:

The colours are being prepared to dye the shoes, slippers, bags to sell in the market; hard working man, making orange juice under the glaring sun every day; a street seller offering magic potions made of grinded bones, different herbs and who know what else; my friend and I breaking the fast with the locals in the El Jeffna square; the original peoples of Morocco, the Berbers, coming down to the city; the sweet delicacies to sample after a savoury meal. Full of colour, full of tradition, full of new ad exciting things for us to explore.

I didn't realise that this post was going to be this long, so an impulse decision - I will come back with the second installment on Morocco adventure in the next post. I suppose I have many more memories and images that I want to share, so won't cram it all in now.

Without planning, this trip down the memory lane is bringing me peace I am need of these days. Hope it has inspired you too, or at least reminded you of the happy times you have had on one of your trips around this wonderful, colourful, strange and beautiful world.

Hope you all have a lovely week, and see you all very soon.

Red xx


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Red:
We think that this is a lovely idea to take a trip into the past and relive a happy time all over again. A perfect way to while away the hours of nights that have 'drawn in', especially now that the clocks have gone back.

And how wonderful your Morocco trip looks to have been. We love Moroccan food and the sight of all those wonderful market stalls have really brought back memories for us too of food which we have enjoyed. That combination of meat and fruit is, in our view, something very special that Moroccans seem to do instinctively well.

Anonymous said...

dear red lilly, enjoyed your memory lane post very much. colours in photos are amazing.

Boye By Red said...

Dear Jane and Lance,

thank you for your message. You are so right, Moroccans definitely know their food. Not only does it taste good, but it also looks good. happy memories indeed.

Dear anon - thank you, thank you. come back for another installment soon :-) xx

Anonymous said...

looking forward to the next one =).

Mary Jo at TrustYourStyle said...

Red, it's always nice to dwell on a fabulous trip, nothing will bring up your spirits faster than thinking about things you love doing! I have always wanted to visit Morocco and can almost smell the spices in your photos. Love that image of the paints. Hope you are feeling better already!

xo Mary Jo

Little Rus said...

You are so right about the photos! Funnily enough, I often missed those times when having a simple camera with a film was the only option. Those photos might not have been perfect all the time, but as I look at them now even the silly ones give such a wonderful feeling of soul and warmth. My photo albums are probably one of the most precious things I have.

Your trip sounds wonderful and made me want to visit Morocco now...


Anonymous said...

The colour of all the stalls was just so uplifting but my husband was nearly hysterical at the snake charmers!

Anonymous said...

Have a lovely weekend, i wish I was in London.