Exactly three years ago, I made my first (and unfortunately only at this time) trip over to Africa. Now, it may have only been to Morocco, but it was still an African country even with the heavy European influence. A friend I met whilst working in France and I decided to jump continents into a world we really didn’t know much about. Until that point, I was only familiar with European cities and honestly didn’t know what to expect! It would be my first country in Africa, my first Berber-speaking country, and my first Arabic-speaking country. Luckily, the “unofficial” third language is French, and I had that covered, so I wasn’t too too scared.
We landed in Fez and instantly I knew this was going to be unlike any country I have ever visited. I am a huge fan of architecture and history when it comes to old buildings, sculptures, etc. Coming from the US where, frankly, our history is much newer and doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi compared to European, Asian, and African architecture. In my opinion, there is much more of a cultural element (i.e. religious aspects, styles of the area) to these buildings as opposed to most buildings in the US. This isn’t to say we American’s lack culture, but our style is very different and, well, newer, as I said before.
Getting back on track, we quickly hopped on an 8-hour train to Marrakech/Marrakesh and I fell in love immediately.
Besides the amazing food and friendly people, Marrakech has some amazingly beautiful sites – including their doors (and archways)! That is right, you heard me, doors. I am a sucker for a pretty door – from doors in France with knobs in the middle (seriously, why are they though?), to Italian rustic painted doors,
to round Hobbit-hole doors, there is just something so fascinating about them! Obviously, doors are important to many cultures, they symbolize hope, opportunity, passage into a new life, etc. and in Marrakech, each door is uniquely different and beautifully done.
Each door tells their own story and represents something. Blue apparently wards off evil, some will include a Hamsa for a door-knocker, or even be painted on for defense against the “evil eye,” etc. It is just very interesting to see coming from a girl who came from a house of all brown, wooden doors.
So next time you are in Marrakech and looking for something to do, go on a scavenger hunt of doors – you never know what you’ll get and you will always be in for a surprise!