Our journey continues…
It was another beautiful day in Morocco. Today we were able to experience a bit of the city’s history and landmarks. We started out at the Saadien Tombs, a mausoleum built to bury kings and their courts. But the first question our group of digerati asked, “Do these tombs have Wi-Fi?” They didn’t, so forgive us for not tweeting photos on the spot, but the site was a both a resting place for royalty and a work of art.
Divided into several rooms, the most ornate was done for the kings and boasts cedar wood ceilings covered in gold and detailed mosaics. The others were reserved for the women and feature intricately carved sandalwood and other geometric patterns; those closest to the king were buried in the center amidst the greenery. Though it was originally built in 1558, the tombs have been well preserved.
From there we headed out into the lively streets and walked to the Mellah, which was the old Jewish quarter. We took in the balconies, which each home was required to have, and stopped for water and a variety of spices and natural remedies at a Berber pharmacy. We were advised to put rose oil under our eyes to get rid of dark circles, orange blossom on our temples for relaxation, and jasmine oil on our legs to ward off mosquitoes; I also acquired a unique powdered eyeliner and applicator to achieve a true smoky eye. After improving our beauty regimens we made our way to the Bahia Palace, one of Marrakech’s most magnificent riads. To be considered a riad, a home must have a courtyard with a garden and flowing water from a fountain. The lavish interiors had us dreaming about what it would be like to throw a dinner party in this mini paradise…perhaps on our next trip.
But the day’s most mesmerizing highlight was ofcourse Jardin Majorelle, the gardens where Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergeré spent their best moments creating and entertaining. Originally created by artist Jacques Majorelle, who was one of the most important plant collectors of his time, the gardens are a captivating delight. Cactus, palm trees, lush flora, fountains, and a studio done in bright cobalt, which there is known as Majorelle blue make for a magical escape and one can easily spent a day there transfixed on the beauty that abounds.
After spending the afternoon celebrating the life of one of fashion’s most influential forces, we got all decked out and headed to the Palais des Congrès for CAFTAN 2012, a runway showcase featuring the intricate work of 12 designers. It was a production to say the least complete with dance acts, acrobatics, and musical numbers…basically it was Morocco’s answer to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But before we sat down for the show, cocktails, chicken, beef, tuna pizza, smoked salmon, and Caprese skewers were served. Could you imagine New York Fashion Week adopting this ritual?
Once the two-hour caftan extravaganza was complete, we were off to the after party. Not knowing what to expect, we made our way outside of town to a soon to be opened golf community in the desert. Our minds were blown by the grandeur of it all. Thousands of candles lit the path and surrounded the space, a VIP area floated in a vast body of water, and a traditional buffet was served, as an incredibly talented band kept the crowd going. We danced barefoot on the greens well until the morning and soaked in the unique spectacle under the stars.