(I wrote this post 4 months ago and didn’t get round to posting it. I’m terrible.)
For Christmas last year Andy bought me the most awesome present – a photography course. I’ve had my SLR for a fair few years now and still, quite frankly, wasn’t sure about how to use it – I tried reading books, blogs and magazines but nothing ever stuck in my head.
He booked me onto a course with Nigel Wilson, who runs what Timeout describes as ‘The Best photography course in London’. The course takes place over 2 days in a central London location, and I couldn’t recommend it more. It takes you through all the basics, dispels many myths, and Nigel explains it in such a simple way that it really does just stick in your head.
Having whet my appetite on the 2 day course, I pored over his website – and decided I HAD to go on his course to Morocco. I’ve always wanted to explore Marrakech and this seemed like the perfect way to do so. So I persuaded my mum, booked the flights and off we went.
We stayed at the beautiful Peacock Pavilions outside of Marrakech. This place was drop. dead. gorgeous.
This was our building (above) that had only 3 bedrooms. It was huge! Our living room (below) was so airy and light, I could happily have just sat in there all week, looking at the trinkets and books.
The resident peacocks.
The rose garden, taken from our kitchen window.
I braved a 5am wake up call to get some sunrise shots from our balcony. (And promptly went straight back to bed.)
On our first morning we ran a photography session for local girls, as part of Project Soar, run by the family who own Peacock Pavilions. The girls were so friendly and absolutely loved having their picture taken, as well as taking shots of eachother.
After a morning of Project Soar and exploring the grounds, we headed into Marrakech for our first experience of the hustle and bustle.
The infamous Djemaa el Fna square – a bit quieter in the daytime, but still full of snake charmers, henna ladies, and water sellers.
The rooftop cafes are a great place to escape to and get a birdseye view.
If you squint hard enough, you can see what the blue brolley man is selling…
The square again at night.
The next couple of days were whistle stop tours around Marrakech. The souks, the gardens, the squares.
We visited the area of the souk where the fabrics are dyed and the leather craftsman work. I was in heaven!
Leather craftsman working on some rugby balls. As you do…
My beautiful mum. Love that hat.
On the last day, mum and I went to check out Yves Saint Laurent’s Marjorelle garden. Via a delicious lunch at Latitude 31 which was some of the most delicious food I had in Morocco, and the prettiest food I’ve ever eaten.
Marrakech was beautiful, but on our hit list was also the coastal town of Essaouira. It’s a couple of hours drive from Marrakech but well worth it for the seafood and seabreeze, which was extremely welcome after the stifling heat of the city.
What’s a roadtrip without goats in trees?
All in all a fabulous trip where I met some likeminded people and never felt bad for stopping to take a photo.
I’m on another of Nigel’s courses in a couple of weeks at a wildlife centre so watch out for some otter shots coming your way… along with everything else I’ve got up to in the last 6 months… whoops.