We had a bit of a lie in today and after the standard fruit and bread breakfast, we headed out at 10am.
This time we went up a different way, North from the riad and out of the city walls.
The city outside of the walls is called the New City and out here is the Jardin Marjorelle. (Which we eventually found after walking right past the entrance way). Jacques Marjorelle built his gardens from 1924 and filled it with 300 plant species from 5 continents – cactus, palms, bananas, flowers, bamboo and so many more.
In 1964, Yves Saint Laurent purchased the gardens and the bright blue villa and maintained the upkeep of it. He later gifted the gardens to the city.
It was busy. We had to queue to get in. But once we were inside, it was really pretty. The walkways were lined with bright blue and yellow pots, filled with aloe vera. There were fountains, bright coloured benches to rest on, waterways which reflected the surrounding trees and the bright blue villa. This had pretty yellow doors and windows. It was all really beautiful. It was quite small and quite quick to wander around.
We took a taxi down to Bahia Palace. The guy agreed on 50 dirhams, (the price the hotel had told us) but then proceeded to tell us that the palace was closed today (of course it was), but I insisted that is where he took us. Enroute he tried to convince us that a gallery would be a good idea. No. No it wouldn’t be.
But 15 minutes later, we actually arrived at the palace. And what a surprise, it was open.
Construction of the Bahia palace began in the 1860s and took 14 years to decorate. Elaborate rooms and mosaic filled courtyards. Only a handful of the 150 rooms are open to the public. It was quite busy, full of tour groups (the first time we’ve seen big groups in Marrakech!).
The gardens were full of orange trees.
It took an hour to walk back to our riad from here. We walked along a long market street – the usual stuff – pottery, wooden camels, shoes etc – but things were so much cheaper along here than in the souks!
I bought a few mini decorative tagines! And then we ended up back in the main square and followed our usual route back up to the hotel.
We arrived back at 1pm and had some oranges and orange juice for lunch up on the roof. Then at 2pm, it was sadly time to leave. The taxi took us back to the airport – barely a 15 minute drive. And then a looooong check in queue. It took over half an hour. As they didn’t do online check in from London, I totally forgot. They do do online check in from Marrakech – could have saved this hassle. By the time we had been through a (rather lax) security and passport, we had been here well over an hour already!
I loved Marrakech!! Really want to come back already!