November 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner and my 30th birthday in Marrakech

First of all, I'm super excited to announce that the winner of an Infancia brass+silver pendant is... Entry #32: Erica Fkiaras from USA! Congratulations :) 
And thank you everybody for participating, and for your lovely comments!
I'll be back with more giveaways!

And second, let me tell you about my 30th birthday... It was amazing! My husband prepared a short trip to a surprise destination for celebrating my entrance to a new decade.
It was on the airplane when I discovered that we were heading to Marrakech!, a place that was high on my traveling wish list.

And the beautiful "red" city didn't disappoint me, we had a great time! We stayed close to the Djemaa el Fna square, a Unesco World Heritage Cultural Space - after a few moments in there you quickly understand why it was chosen.
During the morning snake enchanters, little cars selling hot bread, fresh fruits, fish, chicken, meat, herbs and spices - a massive chaos among the motorbikes, donkeys, horses, people walking, tourists trapped by avid sellers that in a tiny shop had it all (tea glasses, carpets, clothes, leather goods, jewelry, you name it!), men drinking mint tea,  women buying the freshest food, geometry, calligraphy, lots of colors... all topped by the Koutoubia mosque calling to pray 5 times a day.

Then at night women applying henna tattoos, reading hands and storytelling, ambulant food stands selling couscous, tajines, grilled food, sweet Moroccan almond delicacies, nuts, figs, and the hugest dates I've ever seen. And in the background of all this craziness, kids, men and women dancing and singing traditional music in the few free spots left in the square.

Besides Djemaa El Fna, we also visited some gardens, museums, palaces, and the contrasting modern side of the city. 
On my birthday we headed to the mountains, and visited some Berber towns, we were delighted to see how traditions, know how and love to their culture is passed generation through generation for hundreds of years like if time never went by.

I gifted myself a book from the Berber museum and three rings found while treasury hunting in the Marrakech souks!
Supposedly the first one is Berber, the second one is Beduin, and the third one is Tuareg.
I'm saying supposedly because even though I tried to look at them with a very keen eye, you never know! moroccan sellers... My gosh, I need an intensive marketing workshop with them, although I think is in their blood.

The Berber one reminds me of the jewelry style from the middle Atlas region, featuring geometric patters and niello silver.

The Beduin one, I suppose it was made from alpaca or "nickel silver", it has geometric engravings and three concentric circles made with incrustations of ebony wood.

And the third one: Tuareg... Every time I look at it I like to imagine that this beautiful deep blue lapis lazuli probably came from the Sar-i-Sang mines of Afghanistan and was sold to an errant jeweler of the Sahara, then worn by some tribe lady and finally ended up in my hands.

On the last day of our trip I was spoiled by my husband with a super relaxing afternoon at a hammam. My batteries fully charged after the last months of very intense and non stop work, which will continue that way while closing this year with two events in Paris.

What can I say? I feel immensely grateful with life, that has been so generous with me - I feel very blessed in many different ways, I hope that good things keep happening as years come by.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and I wish you lots of traveling too.
Have you been in Marrakech? What's your favorite memory?
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