Over the Christmas break I took the opportunity to enjoy some African sunshine and spent a long weekend in the beautiful Moroccan city of Marrakesh. The centuries-old city is a busting maze of colourful markets, persuasive street vendors, towering palm trees and aged architecture. I particularly enjoyed the chance to visit a few local blacksmith’s workshops.
Souk El Haddadineor souk of the smiths is the hub of the metalworkers of Marrakesh. This photo shows a variety of the work one craftsman was displaying. Everything, from ornate pad-locks and chandeliers to garden furniture and instruments for musical percussion, were being created within the workshops.
I took a day ride out of the city into the Atlas Mountains, stopping off along the way for market day in the town of Tamegrout. Here, a group of smiths operated workshops kept busy in the production of agricultural hardware. Agriculture in Morocco, including the growing of olives, oranges and barley, employs about 40% of the nation's workforce.
The Dar Si Said, a museum housed within an architectural marvel, is devoted to the artisan products of the Berber culture. Marrakesh is full of rich art and craftsmanship.
Other highlights of the trip included an abundance of mint tea, camel rides, extremely tasty cous-cous dishes and warm sunshine in December!