Arriving as the sun was setting, Marrakech was glowing in many shades of red ready to welcome us! Click on the photos to get a better view.
|Arriving at Marrakech|
A short taxi ride later and we were at our base for the next six days, Riad Nesma, a peaceful oasis in the heart of Medina. The adventure had started!
Our daily ritual started with breakfast on the roof terrace: freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee, boiled eggs, a variety of Moroccan pancakes, bread, butter, jam and honey to set us up for the day ahead.
|Breakfast on the roof terrace, Riad Nesma|
Our first day of exploring on Monday had a royal theme, visiting both the 16th century Badi Palace (now deserted but for tourists and many pairs of storks nesting on top of the outer walls) and the late 19th century Bahia Palace, which is bejeweled with brightly coloured zellij (mosaic) and painted doors and ceilings.
|Resting in the shade at the Badi Palace|
|Painted door at the Bahia Palace|
|The Mellah spice market|
To celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary on Tuesday, we walked to the Jardin Majorelle, created by landscape painter Jacque Majorelle and subsequently bought by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and donated to the people of Marrakech on his death. Stunning planting, set off by brightly painted pots, garden furniture and buildings in cobalt blue, lemon yellow, bright orange and cool mint green.
|Steve at the Jardin Majorelle entrance courtyard|
|Vibrant colours at the Jardin Majorelle|
|Lunch at Jardin Majorelle|
|1972 - the year we were married!|
|Sunset over Marrakech from the roof terrace of the Kosybar|
|Steve in the shade at the Medersa|
|Sun at the Medersa|
|Reflections at the Medersa|
|Taking a break at the Marrakech Museum|
|Sunset over Djema El-Fna|
|One of the many juice stalls|
|Hot food stall No 31|
|Hand decorated plates|
|Mint tea glasses|
|Bag stall in one of the central souks|
|The snow-capped High Atlas mountains in the distance|
The riad kindly looked after our bags whilst we went sight-seeing for the last time before catching the plane back on Friday. We had a closer look at the Koutoubia mosque minaret, a feature which dominates the Marrakech skyline and acts as a signpost when you get lost.
|Koutoubia mosque minaret|
|Pair of storks with young on the nest|
|Bab Agnaou gate|
The sun was setting over Marrakech as the plane took off to bring us back to the UK after our amazing Ruby wedding anniversary visit to Morocco. Wonderful!
I sometimes wonder whether Steve had already unknowingly inhaled asbestos fibres by the time we were married in 1972. I certainly can't think of any occasion since then when he has been exposed to the lethal dust. I wouldn't wish a diagnosis of mesothelioma on anyone. However, knowing that life will never be quite the same again helps focus the mind on important things and is a huge incentive to make the most of the remaining time whilst still able to enjoy life.
Somehow, I doubt whether we would have visited Marrakech had circumstances been different. However, we would have missed out on an amazing experience. Maybe we'll have the opportunity to return one day, but in the meantime we'll carry on enjoying our time together, albeit in a more familiar and less exotic environment for the time being!