Tag:

Morocco

The Tree Goats (On The Way From Marrakesh to Essaouira)

Marrakesh (Morocco). “I will show you a tree of goats!” – this is what my guide told me, on our way from Marrakesh to Essaouira. “A tree of goats?” – was my question – “What’s a tree of goats?”. I thought it was another one of the typical jokes that guides normally do to their customers. But kilometer after kilometer, I was getting more and more curious… “A tree of goats? Simply ridiculous, it’s impossible!”.

Of course the photo demonstrates that yes, a “tree goats” exists, it’s real and it was not a joke – at all!

Along the road connecting Marrakesh and Essaouira (but apparently in many other places in the western part of Morocco) it is frequent to see Argan trees, on which goats love climbing and eating. Although this scene can be very funny and folklorist, someone says that goats represent a serious threat for Argan trees and for those economies based on products prepared with Argan fruits (such as oils, creams, soaps etc.), especially because tourism has increased this phenomenon. Goatherds probably raise much more money from tourists taking photos of their “funny goats” climbed on Argan trees, than from milk and cheese produced by the same goats on the ground (and it’s definitely less complicated and tiring). But I hope it will remain something limited to tourists driving from Marrakesh to Essaouira – and for the jokes of Moroccan touristic guide.

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The Blue of Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh

Marrakesh (Morocco). If someone one day will ask me “where was the bluest blue you have ever seen in your life?”, the answer can be only one: “It was in Marrakesh, at the Jardin Majorelle”.

Jardin Majorel is a popular attraction in Marrakesh: every day many people visit it and enjoy its quietness, finding here – among cactus and birds – the perfect refugee from the hot, overcrowded and dusty souk in the central city’s Medina.

However, what most probably captures people’s attention is the dominant ultramarine, cobalt blue used to color every structure in the garden: small buildings, railings, fountains etc. This large use of blue, in my opinion, contributes to give the above mentioned sense of calm and freshness and I found its intensity quite impressive. Let me say: it was an experience not only for my eyes, but also for my soul.

According to Ayurvedic Medicine, “Chromotherapy” (or “Color Therapy”) is believed to be able to use light in the form of color to balance “energy” lacking from a person’s body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels; and the color “Blue” is known as able to give “physical and spiritual communication”. It could make sense…

However, you can believe or not to Ayurveda and its theories, it does not matter: Jardin Majorelle is a must-see in Marrakesh and it deserves a long, calm visit.

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Landscape of Fes

Fes (Morocco). I was very impressed when I saw this landscape of Fes. Particularly, I was intrigued by the contrast between the fierce, tall, solid mosque’s minaret, and the confused background of many small houses. I like landscapes when are made by elements in clear opposition among themselves: I can stay hours watching the same scene without getting bored. Fes is one of the “must-sees” in Morocco: getting lost in its Medina and walking along its narrow alleys is a life experience that I will never forget.

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Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakesh

Marrakesh (Morocco). A never-sleeping place, always crowded and swarming of snake-charmers, orange juice makers or fortune tellers: this is Jemaa el-Fnaa, one of the most vivid, chaotic, exciting, intriguing and enjoyable squares in the world, and the “place-to-be” of Marrakech, a true city’s landmark.

And when the sun goes down, Jemaa el-Fna is transformed into an open-air “multi-brand” restaurant, where stands run by families prepare what is commonly recognized as the best (and most authentic) Moroccan street food in town. But before starting this amazing culinary experience, I think there’s nothing better than climbing up the stairs to one of the many terraces on the top the buildings surrounding the square, and enjoying the sunset watching the people gathering around the stands. The skyline is dominated by the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, from where a flow of people comes to fill the square and make it the most crowded place in town.

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Ouzoud Waterfalls

Marrakesh (Morocco). Not too far from the city of Marrakesh, there are the wonderful Ouzoud waterfalls. Tourists can even go close to the water falling from the top of the mountain, using one of the boats rowed by locals. However, it’s a place that deserves a visit contemplating the large amount of water and the contrast with the dryness of the region. And – as for every important waterfall – listening to the sound of water…

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The Natural Arches of Legzira Beach, Morocco

Sidi Ifni (Morocco). Last night, reading a news website, I sadly discovered that one of the natural arches of Legzira – a beach in Sidi Ifni, close to Agadir on the Atlantic coast of Morocco – collapsed for natural reasons. I link this place with the memories of an amazing “on-the-road” trip, thousands and thousands of kilometers around Morocco, freely deciding the itinerary day by day and discovering its incredible beauties. It was between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010.

This photograph (and the others posted with the tag “Legzira”) has been taken on January 2nd, 2010: the new year’s eve’s excitement was just over and that afternoon, with the sun offering a magic sunset going down into the Atlantic Ocean, I spent several hours contemplating this wonder and the surrounding landscape, as well as making good resolutions for the new year which had just begun. And since at the end the 2010 had been an important year of my life, I like to imagine that this place in a certain sense brought me luck.

For this reason too, the idea that one of the natural arches of Legzira does not exist anymore makes me very sad. I remember that in front of such an amazing wonder, I understood how much nature can build great masterworks! And today, sadly, I also understand that as it can build, it can destroy. In a certain sense, it’s possible to imagine that nature does not have the sensibility to preserve something of beautiful, something built or excavated in thousands and thousands of years. No, nature must go on along its own way without being satisfied for what it has been able to do: nature must proceed along its path, and if this means destroying something, it does not matter. I don’t think there’s too much to do, just getting consciousness of our impotence: and if we want to deceive ourselves that we can stop the natural development of things, the only way we can do it is just shooting a photo.


Sidi Ifni (Marocco). Ieri sera, guardando il sito di un giornale, ho letto la bruttissima notizia che uno degli archi naturali di Legzira – spiaggia sulla costa atlantica del Marocco nei pressi di Sidi Ifni, vicino ad Agadir – è collassato in maniera naturale. Lego a questo posto il ricordo di un viaggio bellissimo, tutto “on-the-road”: migliaia e migliaia di chilometri per il Marocco a scoprirne le sue incredibili bellezze a cavallo tra il 2009 e il 2010, decidendo giorno per giorno l’itinerario in totale libertà.

Questa foto (e le altre che ho postato con il tag Legzira) è stata scattata il 2 gennaio 2010: da poco si era spento l’entusiasmo del capodanno e quel pomeriggio, con il sole che scendeva nell’Oceano Atlantico regalandomi un tramonto magico, passai diverse ore in contemplazione di questa meraviglia e del panorama circostante, facendo buoni propositi per l’anno appena cominciato. E visto che il 2010 fu un anno che importante della mia vita, mi piace pensare che questo posto mi abbia in un certo senso portato fortuna.

Anche per questo l’idea che uno degli archi naturali di Legzira non ci sia più mi intristisce molto. Ricordo che di fronte a un simile spettacolo, capii quanto la natura sia capace di costruire cose grandiose! E oggi, tristemente, comprendo anche che come le costruisce, le distrugge. In un certo senso, si può pensare che la natura non abbia la sensibilità di conservare un qualcosa di bello, magari che ha impiegato migilaia di anni per essere realizzato. No, la natura deve andare avanti per la sua strada senza mai compiacersi di quello che ha saputo fare: la natura deve proseguire nel suo cammino, e se questo vuol dire distruggere, non importa. Non credo ci sia molto da fare se non diventare consapevoli della nostra impotenza: e se proprio ci illudiamo di fermare il corso della natura, l’unico modo per farlo è proprio scattandole delle fotografie.

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