"As we approached Marrakech ,the earth turned salmon pink , deepening as it reached the walls of the town ,with its belt of majestic palm trees and the haughty Koutoubia Tower facing the snow -capped mountains .A city of splendour .The city of the oasis ,capital of the desert, spread out like a coral necklace offering at the feet of the Atlas , the door of the Sahara ,the domain of the Glaoui Pasha , known as the " King of the Sahara ", the richest ,most powerful and most mistrusted of the Pashas of Morocco ... . Wandering around the ruins of the domed sanctuaries of the local Holy men (or marabouts ), avoiding the swarms of grasshoppers at your feet ,you follow the peasant who is brining monkeys and camels to town ,or stand idly by women drawing water at the fountains .From the fresh ,green plantain trees ,ellipses of shadow fall like petals on the white cloaks of the travellers ,and you wander :" Have i been here before ? " Marrakech is different from Fez and from any other town in North Africa .It is more African . It possesses the magic of heathen incanatations in the beating of the nakkos ,the drumbeat which seems to echo the rhythm of life ,of pulse ,of creation itself .Marrakech has the savagery and the voluptuousness of a black mistress ,indifferent to the workings of the mind ,with littel use for the soul .Have i been here before ?The Chleuh girl dance ,the song of the flutes and the tambourines and the snake-charmers overcome you with an unaccountable intuition that you have reached the birthplace of the entire human race - a warm ,caressing birthplace ,far removed from the cold flints and caves and prehistoric sites of our northern skies"
Picture 1 ( La koutobia mosque ).