Mr. Selfish and I wandered around Marrakech and enjoyed the Berber architecture, of which there were many outstanding examples. The Berber people are from north Africa and have lived in that area for at least 5,000 years. Berber architecture is typically reddish or other earth tones, which give the impression that the city and buildings spring from the earth.
First, we went looking for the Ben Youssef Madrassa, which is the largest and oldest educational institution in north Africa. Because the data plan on our phones did not work, we had to resort to using a paper map, which we hadn’t done in a while. We were quite close to the Ben Youssef Madrassa when a few teenage boys pointed us in the opposite direction that we were going. We continued on our path and came upon the Ben Youssef Madrassa almost immediately. Apparently, the scheme is to intentionally get tourists lost and then have them pay for directions. Good thing we didn’t fall for that trick!
Next, we visited the El Bahia Palace. It was built in the late 19th century and was intended to be the greatest palace of its time. Apparently, the palace is “nouveau-riche.” I nevertheless found it to be quite beautiful.
Finally, we visited the El Badi Palace, which is now mostly ruins. It was getting quite hot outside but since it was in the afternoon, we could hear the chants of prayer from the mosques. It is a hypnotic chanting coming from all corners of the city which I found to be quite calming.
The top of the El Badi Palace had huge storks with their nests. These storks were probably four feet tall at least.
Mr. Selfish and I truly enjoyed the architecture in Marrakech. Although we had seen some similar architecture in the south of Spain, the buildings in Marrakech were much more well-preserved. I highly recommend Marrakech just for the architecture.