Thursday, 19 March 2015

Wandering Around Ouarzazat

We left the riad after a most fine and wonderful breakfast (best one yet (!!), with coffee, breads, crepes, eggs, jams, honeys, and more!), to stretch our legs after yesterday's long long drive and late night search for sleeping quarters... just wanted to walk and explore. Of course, if there were colourful things along the way, we had to at least glance over... and the second one glances even remotely in the direction of goods for sale, one gets trapped. This nice man sold Tina two headscarves... and she promised an earlier one that we would be back and she would buy from him, so that adventure still awaits...

Ready for the desert... now we know (again) how to put on the scarf. The natural indigo dye used on this cotton cloth is gorgeous, though!

Gorgeous displays of ceramic colour and intricate details...

... everywhere!

Of course the tajines!

Places had many very very old pieces for sale as well-- sad to see this history being sold to far away lands as novelty items: these included doors, camel seats, and extremely beautiful stakes that were used to construct seats for sitting on a camel, and then converted to pegs that would keep the camel tethered overnight. All of these had layers of carvings and Berber lettering throughout, many stories being told for anyone who could decipher the meanings.

Beautiful teapots for the traditional mint tea... these are carried everywhere, through the deserts, to the beaches, and people sit themselves down and have their tea with sugar no matter what. The leather bags are ancient ones as well-- some were heavily decorated with beads and metal, some more plain pouches, but the stories they could tell might be wilder than fantasy.

Not sure where the glass came from... there was not a lot of it, and Moroccan history of glass craft--as far as I know-- involves only glass bead-making.

Shopfronts, closed at this hour.

Green glaze, made from materials from one specific region in Morocco.

So... the second scarf man... yes, Tina had to try on many of them, and go through the whole ritual several times...

... promises promises... I'll be honest, I laughed. It was no good explaining that we'd already gone through this many times, and it was no good just getting down to how much did he want for the scarf... after this part came Aladdin's Trunk...

In anycase, when we were 'invited' into this man's shop (with promises that we could just look and not be bothered, and then were under siege by non-stop chatter, everything in the warren-like jam-packed from floor-to-ceiling-shop-pointed-out-to-us-in-case-we-missed-it... kind of like a shotgun scatter blast, he might get lucky and sell 'something'), it was my turn to keep he shop-keep occupied while Tina had a chance to just look around. So this is where I bought my djhellapa, and I am happy I did. Although the ladies in the town started to titter when they saw me wearing it as we walked through alleys and back streets (women there do not wear these, they wear a different-looking set-up), I was more than happy to have it later during the trip, and now in my winter studio, this long wool coat is the best. Loves my Berber sleeping bag!

Ouarzazat  is also called Ouallywood; movie set for Lawrence of Arabia are found here, and this area continues to prosper with film making.

All sorts of neat statues...

...layered and layered as one enters the gates.

Driving out of lamp-lit roads of Ouarzazat...

... and onwards to the Sahara.

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