Tuesday, March 4, 2008

morocco -- the inspiration i was looking for

not as sexy as expected, morocco is a poor but picturesque country. the people are kind and friendly. the crafts are the same as they were in medieval times, which really adds to the true art of them all. the colors are just delicious -- you want to bite into the textiles and even go swimming in the horrid vats of leather dye. and the food is simple, inexpensive, and just plain yummy. though i wanted to do more that i couldn't do -- and will therefore have to go back for -- dave and i were just swept up in the culture and the beauty of the muslim country.

the photo above is of tagine pots outdoors at the falls of ouzoud.

people in marrakesh were true characters. the photo of the old man on the step is a constant source of inspiration for me -- i've been meaning to paint that scene for a while. the girls directly above lived right by our riad, and so we saw them daily.

souks carried spices, teas, grains, fruits, scarves, clothes, jewelry, etc. the souks in the two photos above are in marrakesh.

djemma el fna is the main square in marrakesh. a bit touristy, yes, but still a facinating spot. at night, it looks as though it's on fire, with hundreds of people milling around and eating at the food stalls in center.

the falls of ouzoud were a welcome day-long escape from the tourist center of marrakesh. dave and i at the end of the trek (we had to hike down the mountain to get to the foot of the falls).

beautiful doors in morocco were as much a part of the culture as anything else.

lantern shops were colorful and glittery.

animals were much used and eaten in morocco. donkey's are still burden-bearing vehicles there, and can be found on even the most narrow of streets. every part of an animal is used for food, including heads and hooves.

the crafts in fez were incredible to behold. the ceramics were hand painted, hand broken, and formed into patterns for mosaics without a previous plan. no electric tools are used, just hand, hammer, chisel, and brush. we wound up buying a table there, just because we were so enamored with it.

and the tanneries in fez were probably the best sight of them all. they smelled awful, but are worth the trip just to see the process. everything is done the same way it was done in medieval times, without a thing changed for modernism.

tomorrow, photos from barcelona!! and don't forget to email me or post below with your inspirational places, and people.