The 8 hour train journey from Fes to Marrakesh took us over a very contrasting land. It has sweeping fertile plains, rugged mountains, coast, barren desert where the Berber peple have built compounds from packed mud and straw. Amazingly the farmers of Morocco have managed to grow crops amongst the rocky outcrops in what looks like our stony outback desert.
There are so many eucalyptus trees you would think that they are native to this country. So much rubbish litters the landscape- particularly the nearer you get to a city. The cities have all varied so much, from Casablanca's dirty messy chaos to Rabat's cleanliness, Meknes was much smaller so not so busy, Fes had some beautiful green and clean areas then areas that looked like building sites gone mad.
Marrakesh is also a city of contrasts. The souk area is not as gentle as Fes, there is a lot more pressure to buy and it is really hot here- 46 C. The main square is huge and fills up during the day and night with hundreds of sellers and various small stalls with everything from snake charmers to henna hand painters. The feel of this place is much more aggressive. That may be due to more tourists.
We have wandered through the souk ( market) picked up a few bargains, but we have had enough shopping now for a while.
We and 2 others from the tour group caught a horse drawn carriage to some beautiful gardens that were once owned by the artist Jaques Majorelle and then were bought by Yves St Laurent. There is a museum there with absolutely beautiful Berber clothing and jewelry. The Berber people were the original inhabitants of the area of Morocco ranging from desert people to mountain people. They are weavers and craftsmen of very beautiful patterned work in wood and silver.
On Tuesday we are going into the mountains on a day trip, to see a Berber village. We have had a restful day today as it has been tiring travelling and sightseeing in a group. We will post some things home tomorrow to lighten our load.