Saturday, November 7, 2015

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 3

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 3 September 27 Sunday

Wake up call 7:00 - Yoga 7:30-Breakfast at 8:30 on the bus by 10:00 Headcount, water and we are on our way for today's new adventure.

Today we again start our tour in the Medina, old city, of Marrakesh specifically the Mallah or Jewish Quarter. We were let off in the main square where I visited 2+ times the day before... as we started to go through the winding allies I saw they were very familiar because I was there!!! But this time I saw that we had another person with us on a motorcycle... he was for our local security.  Well, yesterday I also had some local security. First the view of the carpet seller at the corner, the entrance to the alley where the old Synagogue was, and even in this dingy dark alley the blue sky seeped through and remnants of patterned tiles could be found.
Composite plus Topaz Simplicity

The Old Synagogue Marrakech is still in use, but the Jewish population does not reside in the old quarter but is spread in newer areas of the city. I found this interesting photo album about Jews in Morroco. Rachel, one of our group was born in Marrakech and she remembers this Synagogue as a child. It was an emotional visit.
It was the eve of Sukkot and there was a decorated Succa along with many pictures  of the members of this congregation.

Succa in Old Synagogue
Composite plus Topaz Simplicity Filters

Entrance to Synagogue Courtyard
Another composite of the Old Synagogue and Ezrat Nahsim
the women's section

Our security escort

One of the many Boutique Hotels in the Mallach
Jewish Quarter
Leaving the Quarter  the Old cemetery of Marrakech
Will write more about the Morocco and Jewish connection in a separate post

Leaving Marrakech for the  Mountains through the  Ourika Valley. On the way we visited a typical Berber home and learned much about their traditions.... what views and what hospitable people.  it was very dark inside and I don't use flash my images are a bit grainy.

View from the upper balcony

Another view

A typical Casbah

View of the kitchen

Entrance area

Having tea with a special ritual.
That white lump is sugar!!!

Stopped at the tomb of Rabbi Solomon Bel-Hench

There are many tombs of Jewish Tzadikim (Saints) scattered in Morocco. The tomb of  Solomon Bel-Hench, who was the revered Head Rabbi of Marrakech. I found this interesting video. Muslims and Jews make pilgrimages to this tomb.

Composite of the courtyard

Tomb of Rabbi 
Solomon Bel-Hench

Picnic grounds on the Ourika river which flows all year round. many rickety bridges cross the river to many picnic grounds. Some picnickers put their tables and chairs  in the river. 

Picnicking on the Ourika River

River crossing

Have to be very careful
Look straight ahead and not down!

All along the road there are many vendors for food and of course souvenirs. One little shop much like a game arcade for playing hand football and pool.  Yael took her hand against the sons of the owners. 

The boys won every match!!!

We arrived back at the hotel late afternoon, time for some relaxing time at the pool early dinner and then off to the Fantasia.  It was an interesting show, but I guess my expectations were too high.  The sounds and colors were fantastic but, in the end I felt a little let down. 

Fantasia in Marrakech

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