A peaceful respite.
Well, there are a variety of reasons why I haven’t posted anything new for the past several weeks. First, life was just busy. Closing up a school year and packing up your life take time! Then, my priorities went to reconnecting with my family as is natural after a long absence. Finally, well, the amount of photos I have from the past few months is just overwhelming. A few of our weekend trips produced several hundreds of photographs! Yikes. I haven’t known where to begin. Luckily, I noticed an album of photos that had already been pared down.
These photos are from a trip to the Majorelle Garden all the way back in January. The garden is just a few blocks from where we were living. Mike and I often watched hot and sweaty tourists walking there while squinting at their maps from our breakfast table. When my friend Liz paid me a visit, I decided to join her and finally check it out for myself. I must say, it is a delight.
Entering the Majorelle Garden means walking into a peaceful shaded sanctuary. You are immediately transported away from the loud, hectic, and smelly streets of Marrakech. (Seriously, smelly. You have to walk past several horses to get to the entrance and heat + horse urine is intense.) It’s easy to forget that beyond the bamboo, bougainvillea, and high wall is a busy street (and our local grocery store!).
Although fairly small, the garden offers plenty to look at and enjoy. For plant lovers, it’s impossible to visit the garden and not experience extreme succulent envy. If flowers are more your thing and you’d like to see the bougainvillea in full bloom, October and April are the best months to visit. And if for some reason you find yourself at the garden but aren’t much into plants or flowers, the Berber Museum (25dhs) and Yves Saint Laurent exhibit (free) are worthwhile as well. I highly recommend paying a little extra to get the joint garden + museum ticket. I loved looking at the different Berber textiles, dresses, and jewelry (and I’m not a jewelry person whatsoever).
If you’re wondering why there would be an Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the Majorelle Garden, it’s because without YSL and his partner, Pierre Bergé, the garden would now be an ugly hotel complex. YSL and Bergé “discovered” the gardens during a visit to Marrakech in the 1960s. It was the enchanting work of Jacques Majorelle, who had invested 40 years into developing the garden. Later, in 1980, YSL and Bergé learned the garden was to be demolished to make way for a new hotel. The couple bought the land instead. I think I speak on behalf of all the hot and sweaty tourists (and locals) when I say, “Thank you, kind sirs!”.
P.S. Just a note: Majorelle Garden is very popular. Arriving earlier in the day might help you avoid the large coach tours.