Sunday, October 03, 2010


At 10 pm our guide, Ben took us to the caleche waiting by the gate, Bab Doukkala. The driver was a jolly, helpful bloke, Abdul, wearing a brown uniform and driving two small Arab stallions, one grey, one brown. The grey kept trying to bite the brown, which leant a bit of drama to the situation. I suppose he got fed up going round and round in the heat.

Abdul drove us on a long trip round the posh hotel areas and leafy posh gardens of palaces to see the famous pavillion where there is a huge tank of water. He told us about the areas as we passed, and was very helpful and friendly.

You cannot approach this pavillion in the caleche. Very very hot and you have to walk along a baking road with no shade to get there from the gate. I am sure it was over 45 degrees. Not much to see actually, maybe its better in the spring or autumn. Luckily there is a little stall selling water so we sat under some trees for a little while.

The gardens of La Marjorelle are in another leafy area with a small entrance gate. Inside are many pretty courtyards and quiet areas, a massive cactus garden, blue grottos with large shady pool, and 'Museum closed' signs, as was the shop.

The gardens were restored and enlarged by Yves Saint Laurant, and there is a quiet area where (I think) his ashes are laid and where you can sit and contemplate your own imortality - or how much more expensive the trip is working out to be than you thought!

I admired the very lovely orange, yellow, blue and red painted pots, some planted up with succulents. There is bourgainvilla, hybiscus, jasmin, bamboo, palms....

The cafe, in an attractive courtyard, serves expensive mint tea - 6 Euro for two cups, but is was very delightful sitting there, people watching.

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