Today is our last full day in Morocco :-(
We'd heard that Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden in the new town sculpted as a work of art by the late Majorelle. More recently the gardens were restored by Yves Saint Lauren.
We planned to take a taxi there and had asked at our Riad what a sensible price was. At the corner a host of taxis were waiting for passing trade. We asked how much and he said 2.5 times what we were told the price should be. We asked for a more appropriate price, he declined and we walked on. Once we reached the square we flagged down a taxi, not really wanting to walk along the busy road to the new town - you can taste the fumes after a while. Yuk! Fortunately this taxi driver was more reasonable and immediately offered a fair price, no haggling required!
The garden features plants from around the world, albeit mostly consisting of various types of palm trees and cacti from hotter climes. The building and pots were made to stand out, having been painted a beautiful and brilliant cobalt blue or sunflower yellow.
The garden was mostly in shade, making it an ideal retreat in the summer months but quite cold in the winter. In one slightly sunny spot we found our first piece of wildlife, a baby gecko sunning itself.
Inside the gardens was the Berber museum. A small three room museum housing a personal collection of Berber artifacts from across the Atlas mountains. Just outside the museum was a gallery showing some of YSL's collages he did fir family and friends as A New Year's greeting, the last being in 2007 with YSL dieing in 2008.
The gardens were actually quite small but not quite ready to leave we had an early lunch and enjoyed the surroundings some more. I had a rather unhealthy lunch of Moroccan pancakes with chocolate sauce and banana. Yum! :-D
After lunch we had planned to find some galleries display modern Moroccan art. We had little luck finding the first one but stumbled on the second one to find out it was closed. On closer inspection we found that all 5 of the galleries were closed between 1 and 3pm. With it being 1.30pm now we decided not to hang around and caught a cab back to the Riad.
We spent the afternoon relaxing then packing and then went out to the souks for afternoon coffee and traditional Moroccan pastries.
We had booked an early dinner that evening so didn't hang out in the souks for long. Most restaurants didn't open until 9pm tonight and were a 5 course extravaganza with champagne and a high price attached (mostly around £90 per head!). Given neither of us has managed to finish a single course in the last week we took the easy option of eating in at the Riad. This turned out to be a good choice as at 9pm, almost on the dot the power went out across the whole of the old town and everywhere was plunged into darkness!
As a result instead of welcoming in the new year awake we both fell asleep!
In the morning we were told everyone was honking their horns in the streets and the were masses of fireworks which we both slept soundly through! Normally the quiet call to prayer wakes us up. However the power didn't go back on until after 1am, likely ruining the plans of all the fancy restaurants!
Anyway that brought our holiday to a close and we're both looking forward to sleeping in our own bed again. The beds out here are all rock hard!
Happy New Year!