Hi! Thank you for taking the time to look at my first post on my story board!I didn't choose to do photography because I wanted to write essays about my work, I've always believed the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words". However it's a great place to share some insight on who I am and what I get up to. I'll mainly be showing my work here rather than plastering it all over social media sites which we all spend far too much time on! So why not spend a few moments looking through my blogs and hopefully you'll feel inspired.
This was a very special trip to Morocco with my wife Ali. Why so special you ask? Well there's a few reasons that stand out...
The view of Marrakech Old Town "The Heart of Marrakech" taken on the plane
Firstly, it was our fourth wedding anniversary! When we got married we agreed that we would do a city break in Europe once a year and this was the first time we actually got round to going somewhere (oops). We both make an effort to take time to spend quality time together as our hectic and busy jobs more often than not get in the way. Its easy to find yourself crossing paths in the house rather than spending quality time together. Having those date nights & booking trips makes up for all those late evenings spent waiting for the other to come home, crashing on the sofa, shoving some food down and going to bed with just a handful of conversations and a kiss goodnight, which I know happens to us all. It may have taken us 4 years to finally do our first city break, but we're determined to carry on with the tradition...(he says!)
In the middle of the Art Deco Jardin Majorelle
Secondly, it was our first attempt at going somewhere completely different and out of our comfort zone. We usually prefer holidays relaxing on the beach, walking in the woods with the dog, driving the VW camper to a camp site chilling and just catching up on sleep. I must admit we should have planned space to do that after our time in lively Marrakech!
The well known Djemaa el-Fna
Thirdly, what made this holiday so special was the exciting news of finding out Ali was pregnant!! We hadn't told anyone at this stage and it was all new for us, but we quickly discovered that Morocco isn't the best place to be pregnant - the heat, smells, travelling etc. do not mix well with "morning" sickness which also wasn't only during the morning. Finding suitable places to eat wasn't easy, but we found a variety of welcoming street cafe's offering fresh local dishes and we even treated ourselves to a posh meal in the HUGEST hotel!
Eating in one of the many food stalls Djemaa el-Fna
Although this was a holiday, I just can't leave my camera behind - luckily for Ali I've learnt not to obsess about looking for the perfect shot and to concentrate on our time there. Besides, she can't deny we don't have good holiday snaps ;) I hope you enjoy the mixture of images I've chosen - please do comment with your thoughts.
My beautiful wife near Riads Zitoun
We started our Moroccan adventure local to the hotel in the stunning Art Deco Jardin Majorelle housing over 300 fascinating plant species from five different continents.
The next day we felt ready to take on the Old Town of Marrakech! We had only walked a few steps out of our hotel and all of a sudden we had agreed to a tour around Morocco from a traditionally persistent but lovely taxi driver. We were a little hesitant to begin with, but it was fantastic and we saw so much from the smelly treatment pits of the tanneries to the camels in the desert.
Next stop was the Riads Zitoun exploring all the spice markets wandering right through to Kautoubia Mosque.
As you can see there's so much to take in! The local markets and souq's off the Djemaa el-Fna feel like mayhem to the average tourist but are carefully organised into mazes of many trades.
This sad looking donkey was having a rest during the hottest part of the day - he looked very tired to our westernised minds. Donkeys and horses are definitely a big part of working life for the average Moroccan.
As it was the hottest part of the day, we also needed a rest, so stopped for some ice cream overlooking the Djemaa el-Fna
The range of the Architecture around the Old Town was so interesting. In some places it felt like buildings were just bodged together but this just added to the Moroccan character. The following images show the striking contrast between traditional old buildings and the beautifully renovated riads for tourists.
Our last day was the beginning of the festival of Eid al-Adha which commemorates the willingness of Abraham to follow God's command to sacrifice his son. It was really interesting to the holiday atmosphere with everybody greeting each other and passing on blessings - just like the couple below.
Unsurprisingly we were now exhausted, so we sat and watched as the evening entertainment began to build at the Djemaa el-Fna (main square). This ranged from dancing, drumming, boxing and singing right through to snake charming and monkey entertainers. The sights and sounds were overwhelming!
So as you can see we definitely enjoyed our little adventure in Marrakech and we managed to fit in so much in just a few days! We did find time to relax by the pool too, but I left my camera behind and read a book instead. However the roof top views were just too tempting!
I hope you enjoyed my first blog. I find blogging as easy as trying to do a selfie with my DSLR (see the above photo!) but hopefully the photos speak for themselves. So goodbye for now - I'm going to finish off with views of the vast Sahara Desert as we left to the greenery of England as we arrived back home.