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Hannah Taylor ran after the three year old, laughing and tossing little snow balls in the side yard of the inn where they were staying.

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Pale hair blown by the winter winds and his glasses fogged. He stood up, brushed the heavy snow to the ground with leather covered palms and sank back onto the thick wooden bench. Matching redheads, he thought in the middle of a very hazy gaze. The little one stretched out on the smooth snow and flapping her arms next to her mother. Tall, willowy and wispy.

Those were the words his mind had assigned to her when he first saw her striding around the resort, looking very professional.

Her hair was worn in a thick, feathery cap that barely touched her shoulders and curled lightly around her face. Those were supposed to be private thoughts. He was twenty feet away and just staring. In the northeast corner, you can climb up to get an overview from the ramparts and a closer view of the storks nesting atop them. When filled — as during the June folklore festival see p.

You can pay another 10dh to see the original minbar pulpit from the Koutoubia Mosque see p. Once one of the most celebrated works of art in the Muslim world, it was commissioned from the Andalusian capital Cordoba in and took eight years to complete. The whole structure was covered with the most exquisite inlay work of which, sadly, only patches remain. The minbar was removed from the Koutoubia in for restoration, and eventually brought here. South of the courtyard are the ruins of the palace stables and, beyond them, leading towards the walls of the present Royal Palace, a series of dungeons, used into the last century as a state prison.

The Saadian Tombs Rue de la Kasbah. Furnished from the collection of Dutch anthropologist Bert Flint, the exhibition underlines the longstanding cultural links across the desert, a result of the centuries of caravan trade between Morocco and Mali. Each of the rooms features carpets, fabrics, clothes and jewellery from a different region of the Sahara, with explanatory notes in French.

Southern Medina and Agdal gardens P L A C E S 62 which ruled Morocco from to — escaped plundering by the rapacious Sultan Moulay Ismail, of the subsequent Alaouite dynasty, probably because he feared bad luck if he desecrated them. Instead, he blocked all access bar an obscure entrance from the Kasbah mosque. The tombs lay half-ruined and half-forgotten until they were rediscovered by a French aerial survey in Architecturally, the most important feature here is the mihrab the niche indicating the direction of Mecca , its pointed horseshoe arch supported by an incredibly delicate arrangement of columns.

The room itself was originally an oratory, probably not intended for burial use. The room is spectacular, with faint light filtering onto the tombs from an interior lantern placed in a tremendous vaulted roof, and the zellij tilework on the walls is full of colour and motion.

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The latter is buried in the inner room — or at least his torso is, since the Turkish mercenaries who murdered him took his head back to Istanbul for public display. Outside, round the garden and courtyard, are scattered the tombs of over a hundred more Saadian princes and members of the royal household. Sat—Thurs 8. In the s it was extended by his son, Bou Ahmed, himself a grand vizier and regent to the Bab Agnaou sultan, who ascended the throne This was one of the two aged There is a certain original entrances to the Kasbah, pathos to the empty, echoing but the magnificent blue granite chambers of the palace, and gateway which stands here today the inevitable passing of Bou was built in You enter the palace from the west, through an arcaded courtyard.

Jewish ghettoes in decorated with Star-of-David Morocco were called mellah zellij tiling. Among the tombs of the Jews left long ago for are eleven shrines to Jewish Casablanca, France or Israel. The halls to the east and west are decorated with fine zellij fireplaces and painted wooden ceilings. Inside, the orange, fig, lemon, apricot and pomegranate orchards are divided into square plots by endless raised walkways and broad avenues of olive trees. The area is watered by an incredible system of wells and underground channels, known as khettera, that go as far as the base of the Atlas and date, in part, from the very founding of the city.

At the heart of the gardens lies a series of pools, the largest of which is the Sahraj el Hana the Tank of Health — now a green, algae-clogged rectangle of water. Probably dug during Almohad times, the pool is flanked by a ramshackle old summer pavilion, where the last few precolonial sultans held picnics and boating parties. La Mamounia hotel and gardens Av Bab Jedid. Roosevelt — when they were here together in — as the loveliest spot in the world. Note that visitors are not supposed to enter the hotel wearing shorts or jeans.

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A big selection of brass and iron lanterns in all shapes and sizes, doubling up as light shades for boring old electric bulbs. The many-pointed star-shaped lanterns with glass panes are a big favourite, as are simple candle-holder lanterns; 67 there are larger and grander designs too. Sat— Thurs 9am—6.

Sat—Thurs 9am—9pm, Fri 9am—noon. The walls and floor Hicham Machkour here are stacked solid with CDs and cassettes of local and foreign sounds. A massive craftwork department store with a huge range of goods at supposedly fixed prices, only slightly higher than what you might pay in the souks. The sales assistants who follow you round are generally quite charming and informative. Daily 9am—7pm. If the leather babouches in the main souk see p. Modern ceramic designer crockery their own in beautiful matching colours is what this shop sells, and at fixed prices.

Best buys are the tuffets stools , which rather resemble giant liquorice allsorts. Women, however, may feel conspicuous here, especially inside. Daily 9am—8pm. Reasonably priced and very tasty Moroccan dishes, including wonderful tajines the rabbit is especially delicious, with lemon and raisins, but watch out — it may include the head , with tables indoors or out front. Expect to pay around 50—80dh for a three-course meal.

This small shop specializes in Moroccan musical instruments, most notably drums, which they make themselves in their neighbouring workshop; they also offer lessons in how to play. Additionally they sell the lute-like ginbris, which make excellent souvenirs to hang on your wall back home. On a rooftop looking out over Place des Ferblantiers and towards the Mellah, this is one place to get close to the storks nesting on the walls of the El Badi Palace.

It serves a limited range of hot and soft drinks, and a modest 80dh set menu of soup, salad and couscous, with a Moroccan sweetmeat for afters. Rue Ibn Rachid. Daily 6am—11pm. Kosybar 47 Place des Ferblantiers T 38 03 24, W kozibar. A stylish restaurant and bar with upstairs terraces overlooking Place des Ferblantiers. They serve sushi, snacks, sandwiches, pasta and salad at lunchtime; for supper you can dine on trendy modern dishes like eggplant strudel with basil, or rabbit profiteroles with honey and marjoram.

Main dishes go for around —dh. Daily 7am—9. Daily from 8pm book before 5pm.

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Popular with foreign visitors, though unfortunately the food the dh menu features pastilla, couscous, lamb tajine is merely so-so, and individual diners play second- 69 Restaurant Douirya 14 Derb Jedid, near Place des Ferblantiers T 38 38 36, W www. Specialities include mechoui roast lamb , and pigeon stuffed with honey and almonds. Easy to find, in the southeast corner of a square by the Place des Ferblantiers. Daily 8—10pm. Daily 3pm—4am gaming tables from 9pm. Under huge chandeliers and Art Deco glass panels, you can gamble your life savings on roulette, craps or blackjack, or feed your change to the slot machines.

However the decor is splendid, as the building is a magnificently decorated sixteenth-century mansion, with an Italian alabaster fountain at its centre; scenes from The Return of the Pink Panther were shot here. Past patrons have included Jacqueline Kennedy and the Aga Khan. The main area of souks, or markets, which is great for souvenir shopping, is centred on a main thoroughfare, Souk Smarine.

North of the souks are the small but architecturally important Almoravid Koubba, the Marrakesh Museum and the beautifully decorated Ben Youssef Medersa. Beyond, in all directions, are the ordinary residential quarters of the Medina. Historically the street was dominated by the sale of textiles and clothing. Other shops specialize in multicoloured cotton skullcaps and in fezzes tarbouche fassi in Arabic , whose name derives from the city of Fes in northern Morocco, where they originate.

The feeling of being in a labyrinth of hidden treasures is heightened by the passages among the shops, leading through to small covered markets. The occasional stucco-covered doorways between shops are entrances to mosques, havens of spiritual refreshment amid the bustle. Rahba Kedima Souk Smarine narrows just before the fork at its northern end. The passageways to the right east here give a glimpse of the Rahba Kedima, an open marketplace with stalls in the middle and around the outside.

Immediately to the right as you go in is Souk Btana, where whole sheepskin pelts are displayed and laid out to dry on the roof. This is as much a way of passing the time of day as a form of hard bargaining, and should be goodnatured, not acrimonious. Haggling is a bit like an auction in that you should never start bidding for something if you are not really interested in it, and having offered a price, you are obliged to pay it if the seller agrees.

Always have in mind a price you would like to pay and an absolute maximum before you start to haggle. Ultimately, the question is, how much are you willing to pay? The stalls also sell herbal and animal ingredients still in widespread use for protection against — or the making of — magic spells, with roots and tablets for aphrodisiacs, dried pieces of lizard and stork, fragments of beaks and talons and even gazelle horns. Most of the slaves had been kidnapped and marched here with the camel caravans from Guinea and Sudan — those too weak to make it were left to die en route.

It remains the centre for cloth and clothing, offering an array of beautiful dresses, flowing headscarves and roll upon roll of fine material. Among the remains of the attendant facilities are a large water cistern and latrines and fountains for washing before prayer, much like those adjoining many Moroccan mosques today.