There was only one more full day left in Morocco for me before heading to Madrid, then to Istanbul. It seemed so daunting to be heading to an entirely different country after this. A country with a new infrastructure to learn, money to figure out, language and social nuances to tackle, different food, etcetera. And I was leaving people to whom I had grown attached! So I made the absolute most of it.

The morning started with me making breakfast for my compadres in the riad. I had eaten the most delicious omelets in the new town of Marrakech and I wanted to repeat it for them. Once again, Mokhtar came to the rescue with the supplies and I was able to create a wonderful little breakfast before heading off to our day.

We visited the Marjorelle Gardens today. Although I had already been it was fun to return with the group. Mokhtar sent me on ahead as a sort of guide to get everyone in the place since I already knew it. So I gave a little synopsis of the place and we all explored it at our own pace. The Berber museum was particularly interesting; it’s something I had skipped the first time. And the lighting was even better this time around so I had the benefit of capturing some photos that I knew I had missed the first time around.

In the gardens I was able to spend some nice time with Susan and Marianne. Susan and I spent some time in the sun on a park bench talking and it was time together I treasure. Barbara gathered us together (no easy task) and we were on our way to the Ourika Valley, where I had already been on my first free day in Marrakech. I was happy to return! I love the Ourika Valley and it’s an easy trip from the city.

A sunny day when we started, it started showing signs of clouding up or raining. But we were able to spend the entire day without rain and I was able to take some great shots. We went to the end of the road and had lunch by the river: a delicious tajine, salad, and “dessert” of yogurt in a container but it was tasty and I wanted more! I noticed myself getting a little melancholy about the whole thing and decided right then and there to return soon so that I wouldn’t have to mourn the loss of the place.

The day was beautiful! The almond and apple blossoms seemed to be at full tilt and the poppies were out in droves! Other flowers bloomed in nooks and crannies of stone walls, on roofs of houses, and in gutters. It was really something. And people were out and about living life so we had a lot to look at and enjoy. We stopped at a potter’s store and he gave us a demonstration of how tajines are made; it was interesting. He whipped one up quickly for us; a perfect one! And we shopped. I bought a small tajine (for one) and two small bowls with silver around the edges. Just gorgeous. And reasonably priced, I thought. We hurried back to the riad so we could make our couscous dinner and have our last cooking demonstration. And we wanted to have time together to say our goodbyes, play some music and take some pictures.