The colours of Morocco

Visiting Marrakesh is an enchanting experience for all senses. Vibrant colours are everywhere. Terracotta is in the walls, in the tagine, in the surrounding mountains and in some places, even in the rivers. Colourful tiles arranged in beautiful geometric patterns make up the design of amazing walls and floors. Rich colours abound in the textiles, and babouches, and ceramic and spices that are traded everywhere in the uncountable street markets, or souks, around the Medina in Marrakesh.

As you walk around the old Medina, you get immersed in a unique soundscape. From the percussions, strings and qraqebs played by the street musicians that perform on the main place, Jemaa el-Fnaa; to the almost Babelic sensation of listening to hundreds, if not thousands, of merchants skilfully closing deals in multiple languages; to the sound of motorbikes passing around you as you walk across the souks and alleys.

Eating in Morocco is a sublime experience. Fresh and fragrant ingredients transform into a unique selection of exquisite dishes that often convey a blend of savoury, sweet and spicy sensations in a single mouthful. While tagine and couscous are essential dishes in traditional Moroccan cuisine, the palate can get delighted not only with these sophisticated dishes, but also, with simple items, such as a freshly squeezed orange juice, a cup of fresh mint tea, or an assortment of Moroccan pastries.

Visiting Morocco is an enriching experience for the senses as well as for the soul. Despite its proximity to Europe, Morocco preserves traditional ways of living not only in the high-mountains and remote villages, but also in large cities such as Marrakesh.Bargaining in Morocco is an art, but also, an opportunity to interact with local people and to discover the warmth and kindness that characterise Moroccan people.

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South from Marrakesh rise the majestic High Atlas mountains that separate the Sahara from the Mediterranean. In about three hours, you can go from the semi-arid climate in Marrakesh, through the breath-taking High Atlas mountains and into the desert to visit the city of Ouarzazate and the fortified city of Aït Benhaddou, a UNESCO world heritage site.

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A shorter trip into the western part of the mountain range is the Ourika River valley. The valley lies only 30 kilometres away from Marrakesh and represents a good opportunity to learn more about the traditional way of live of the Berbers, that inhabit the Atlas mountains, and to contemplate the stunning landscapes.

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Hacienda Santa Maria Xalostoc, Tlaxcala, Mexico

This weekend, I visited Tlaxcala, one of the tiniest states in Mexico and also, one of the states with the lowest economic development in the country. I was absolutely astonished with the beauty of the state. Despite not being a top touristic destination in Mexico, the state has some historical and natural sites that are as beautiful as some of the famous ‘Haciendas’ in other states, most of them in a very genuine conservation state (i.e. non ‘touristy’) and free of the crowds of other more popular destinations in Mexico.

This is a collection of pictures I took in Hacienda Santa María Xalostoc. The hacienda was been around for almost five centuries and is a must if you are planning to visit the Haciendas in the state. Santa María Xalostoc is located close to Tlaxco, about 90 minutes away from Mexico City and only 25 minutes away from the state of Tlaxcala. You can learn more from the Hacienda on their website and find some relevant information.

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Berlin in High Contrast

Photographies taken in a short trip to Berlin in the midst of the cold winter

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