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Over the Christmas break I took the opportunity to enjoy some African sunshine and spent a long weekend in the beautiful Moroccan city of Marrakesh.  The centuries-old city is a busting maze of colourful markets, persuasive street vendors, towering palm trees and aged architecture.  I particularly enjoyed the chance to visit a few local blacksmith’s workshops.

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Souk El Haddadineor souk of the smiths is the hub of the metalworkers of Marrakesh.  This photo shows a variety of the work one craftsman was displaying.  Everything, from ornate pad-locks and chandeliers to garden furniture and instruments for musical percussion, were being created within the workshops.

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I took a day ride out of the city into the Atlas Mountains, stopping off along the way for market day in the town of Tamegrout.  Here, a group of smiths operated workshops kept busy in the production of agricultural hardware.  Agriculture in Morocco, including the growing of olives, oranges and barley, employs about 40% of the nation's workforce.  

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The Dar Si Said, a museum housed within an architectural marvel, is devoted to the artisan products of the Berber culture.  Marrakesh is full of rich art and craftsmanship. 

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Other highlights of the trip included an abundance of mint tea, camel rides, extremely tasty cous-cous dishes and warm sunshine in December! 

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