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Marrakech in five words:  Not   Everyone’s   Cup   of   Tea.


I had some trepidations about going to Morocco, alone, having had some previous experience traveling in African and Moslem countries which, being female and an animal lover, did not bode well for this trip. So that’s why I only gave myself 48 hours in Marrakech. It was more than enough.

I had previously arranged to be picked up at the airport (by the way, GORGEOUS airport!!) by the riad, the traditional-style Moroccan villa where I’d be staying, in the kasbah of Marrakech (meaning that I stayed within the walls of the old city):


Well, as you can see, some of the alleys are too narrow for vehicular traffic so we parked the SUV and walked about three blocks to the doorstep. The only luggage I had was a shoulder bag packed with my iPad and extra undies.  Marrakech Travel Tip No. 1: No matter how crappy the place looks on the outside, it could be AMAZING on the inside:






Yes, those are rose petals on the bed and on the bathroom sink.

The riad was wonderful, about $120 per night, and having come from cold, rainy Paris it was a delight to see and feel the sun! I went to the rooftop and snooped (I stuck my camera over the five-foot-walls on the rooftop) to see what the neighbors were like:



And then I had dinner and a quick walk around the kasbah in the twilight. Of course I got lost — all the alleys look the same — until a little boy called out to me, Hey Lady! Vous churchez votre riad?  Yes, it was that obvious that I was lost but I didn’t really want this kid’s help (I know I would have found my way sooner or later) but he led me to my doorstep anyway and then asked for money. I didn’t have any diram on me and I also had no intention of paying him away. Kids should not be begging strangers for money and I don’t care if it IS the third world. I thanked him, told him he was a very nice boy, and locked myself in my room.

The next morning I discovered that I’d forgotten to pack clean socks. Ew. And it was cold and rainy.


I wandered around the kasbah, looking for my way out. At one point some creep walked up beside me and said, “Bonjour Madame! Remember me? I made you your crepes at the riad!” Of course I did not have crepes at my riad. And he keeps talking to me, about how he can take me to a spice market (You want spices? I  show you  best spices!).


He went on to tell me that it is a holiday today and all the Berbers were coming down from the mountains to sell their rugs (You want rug? I take you to my friend to see Berber rug!). He was very annoying but I did need to get out of the kasbah so I asked him where I could find a taxi. Where you go?, he asked, and when I said the Jardin Majorelle he said, Oh madame, the jardin is closed today because of holiday, come, we go see Berbers! I hate to admit it, but for an instant I believed him. I had not thought of checking the holiday schedule in Morocco and, having been caught in two bank holidays in Paris the previous week, I thought that it was entirely possible that I’d stumbled into another jour de fete.


Then I remembered that I was talking to a professional bullshitter so I told him that I was going to the Majorelle anyway and he, catching on that I was not perhaps as dumb as I looked, finally pushed off and I at last found a taxi. I argued the fare down from 100 driam to 30 before I got in the car. This is not my first rodeo. But I was weary of Marrakech already. There is something about walking around rainy streets in dirty socks with a creep yabbering away at you and having a taxi driver try to charge you three times the fair fare that I find very dispiriting.

I had only come to Morocco to visit the Jardin Majorelle and Yay! I was at last on my way! So the closer I got to it, the more beautiful and wondrous Marrakech got!  I love Marrakech! Vicious mood swings: part and parcel of travel.


LOVE the itty bitty Morris column!

Heart. Be. Still. Here’s the entrance to the Majorelle!!


And now I am IN the Majorelle!!!


There’s only a 50 diram entrance fee, about 5 euros/ 8 dollars, which to me is a bargain.


I was early enough to have beaten the tour buses so, for all intents, I had the place to myself for a half hour or so.


The Majorelle Garden is the home of a mid-century (active 1920 – 1960) French painter, Jacques Majorelle, whose property was in almost ruin when it was bought by Yves Saint-Laurent in 1980 and restored to its full glory.


The garden is famous for being, you know, beautiful and unique in Marrakech, but mostly for this shade of blue that Majorelle invented and patented as Majorelle Bleu. It is, as you can see, intensely vivid. Is that redundant?


The official RGB values of Majorelle Bleu are — Red: 96, Green: 80, Bleu: 220.


It had actually stopped raining when I took these photos and  the ground crew was mopping up the the walkways. I like to photograph gardens in the rain — cloud cover brings out the color and form of plants and architecture. If it had been a hot sunny day I don’t know if I’d have noticed this neighboring villa outside the garden walls…


…I wonder what it’s like to have the Majorelle Garden on view from your terrace?


YSL did a fabulous job as the protector of the Majorelle…


…although the garden was rarely depicted in the annual Christmas card that YSL designed and sent to his amis each year, a collection which is now exhibited in the “Love” museum on the site…

P1170927…and I’m sure he’d keel over if he saw that the Majorelle gift shop was hawking one of his collages…

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…in the form of a hidiously ugly caftan for about $1800:


Right after I took this picture the  shop assistant almost tackled me and told me photography was forbidden and she asked me to delete my photos from my camera. “Sure,” I said, giving her me  “I am as dumb as I look” smile and made my Lumix camera do a few gratuitous beeps and all was forgiven.









If I had any interest in plants I’m sure I would have found the various plans that were scattered through out the garden helpful:


Does this (below) look like the plan, above? I read that the gardeners at Majorelle rake the gravel into those little saucer-shaped circles in the ground to catch all available rainfall for each plant:



Yves Saint Laurent is buried at Majorelle:


I have read that the garden is ten acres, but that can’t be true. Unless it includes the estate next door, the very private home where YSL actually lived, that is off limits to us peons. My guess is that the garden is about four acres, five tops.


When the tourists started to arrive by the bus load, I began to snap photos of them. This poor German girl was almost blue with cold, shivering in her little Summer dress in this cool, wet un-Morocco morn:


By the way, Spanish people from Spain are LOUD. I think they are louder, even, than Americans. Jesus. It seemed like they had to talk to each other at the top of their lungs, but then, they were mostly youngsters in their 20s and I guess they were hollering at each other WHO THE HELL HAD THE BRIGHT IDEA TO COME HERE??? When I was in my 20s, I would not have been caught dead touring a garden.

I think I got the better angle here (see below) than the one these two lovely Italian visitors got (boring straight-on). I like to put my subjects in a setting that makes the most OF THE SETTING. Right?


I was in Majorelle-world for approx. 90 minutes. By the time I left the place was hopping:


At the entrance kiosk, 11-ish.


This guy, above, had good-looking horses…but further down the avenue I saw a man viciously yanking on the bridle of his horses to make their heads snap back (and they were “parked”, not even moving) so I to scream at him. I couldn’t help myself. I can scream OK in French but I’d rather use the “F” bomb in English when I do my “crazy lady” act. I was back to hating Marrakech again, and henceforth I had to just shut my eyes whenever I saw horses coming into view because I can’t go around Marrakech screaming at people like a crazy lady. It’s so, how you say…ungracious.

The story of the excellent adventure that I had after I left the Majorelle will have to wait for another day (please vote in the Comments: do you want to see what the creations of an all-women’s crafts co-operative in a Moroccan village 20 kms outside of Marrakech looks like??).

But after that unpleasantness about the horses you, dear readers, deserve a great cat story. And here it is:


This story comes to you under the auspices of  the delightful Sara Quinn, of Peace Corps Morocco/Tameslouht, who guided me through the souk of Marrakech the next day.


I really didn’t have any great curiosity about the souk — if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all and I’ve already seen the ones in Tunis, Niamey, and the Palestinian side of Jerusalem — but Sara included a spin in the souk in her extensive tour of Marrakech and I gladly followed in her wake.

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There are a lot of cats, footloose and fancy, in Marrakech:




And when Sara and I came across this kitty in the souk…


…my heart melted. This guy in the white coat was selling chopped up meat (I did not look closely to see what kind of meat, but it was probably sheep or goat) and I asked Sara if she thought it would be OK if I bought some meat to feed the cat. I asked because she knows the culture and I didn’t know if buying people food for a stray cat was gauche or not and whenever I am not screaming at assholes who beat horses I try to be culturally appropriate. So Sara walks over to the guy and asks him in fluent Moroccan Arabic (known as Darija) if it was OK if her dopey American friend could buy meat for the cat.

And this dear man answers  NO!   Turns out that I can’t buy meat because he keeps cat food with him in the stall!  And he reaches into a big bag behind his counter and he gives me a handful of cat food so I can feed the cat!


He was smiling and chatting away with Sara about how he likes the market cats and I took this picture so I will always remember this nice guy who is kind to cats. I am back to thinking that Marrakech is an OK place after all.

The day before, on a tour of her “home” town of Tameslouht,, Sara had assured me that Moroccans in general like cats but, well, I had to see it with my own eyes. And I do have to say that on my solo rambles in the medina, whenever I stopped to take a photo of a cat, people around me yelled for other people to get out of the way, the lady wants to take a picture of the cat!

So, all in all, Marrakech might not be my cup of tea, but I rate it highly as probably the best place to be a cat in North Africa. (P.S. I met a German traveler in Tameslouht who told me that if I like cats, I have to go to the Moroccan sea side town of Essaouria; the cats there are the fattest he’s ever seen. Has anybody reading this ever been to Essaouria? Have you seen the tubby moggies there???).

As I write this, I’m thinking that I might have to give Marakech another try. This is my way of telling you, dear readers, that my heart was full of love when I painted my Marrakech Triscuit, a portrait of the lily pond at the Majorelle Garden:


I still get emails asking me what a “Triscuit” is, so here’s a shot of a “Triscuit” by another name:


Maybe I should have called my itty bitty watercolor pictures “Tea Bags” from the start. Oh well. Too late now.

You can own this Majorelle Triscuit by leaving a Comment to this post before the blog “closes” on midnight Tuesday and as usual, Top Cat will chose a Comment at random and the winner will be announced next week.

Oh, by the way, I have an announcement on the Monet Triscuit that I gave away two weeks ago:

P1180785 2

This Triscuit was not claimed (WTF?) so……the new winner of this Triscuit is:

Joan in NV!

Joan, please send me your mailing address to vivianswift at yahoo before next Friday!





55 comments to Marrakech Express.

  • Helen F

    I am a new reader and thoroughly enjoy your photos and stories of your adventures in Marrakech.

  • Faith

    Such a great tour! I loved the rainy day atmosphere, and that garden!!! Your travelogs are such fun. Thank you.

    Yes, please, I’d love to more of Morocco. I’m very interested in seeing womens’ crafts. AND CATS.

  • Yes; me too. FAT cats in North Africa !! Huh.

    loved your writing about the street bum and taxi negotiating.
    You are one Moxie New Yorker, lady.
    You go, girl……..

    I’m just glad you take us with you.

  • Great post this week, madame. I had no idea there was such beauty in Africa. I know that sounds strange, but the one time I was there, it was very dirty, with markets teeming with people, and garbage. Your photos are to die for, and I would love to have a small triscuit for evermore. If your listening TC, keep me in mind! Thanks for taking us on a journey to a place I would never consider going. And, yes, show us more!!!

  • Of course I’d love to see more! Your unromantic view on the overly romanticized Morroco is refreshing and funny. Lovely riad! I’ll be daydreaming of transforming my patio with blue tile and lanterns all week!

  • Cheryl

    Vivian–you have tenacity!! Love it. More Marrakech please. It is romantic in it’s mystery. A place I will never get to–so please share with us.

  • janet bellusci

    an unclaimed TRISCUIT??? unheard of!!

    i was comforted by your varied responses to marrakech, because of late, my list of places i would travel to has gotten mighty short. will NOT go anywhere where women are disrespected. am troubled by any place which has children begging (although i’ve seen that in paris, too) and a-holes who are professionsl b-shitters harassing the tourists. just don’t have time for that.

    LOVED seeing the gardens of YSL. that blue is a vibration that is SO comforting!!

  • Megan Hyatt

    I know exactly how you feel about the animals… when we went to Egypt twenty years ago the taxi driver took us through the markets, the meat markets… tried not to look but he was so proud of the markets it was a dilemma. I had never heard of Essaouira until i saw this post on a blog I follow. Is it okay to add a link here, not sure of the protocol.

    • Vivian

      Thank you, Megan, for the link. I had never heard of Essaouira either but it’s on my radar now. It’s pathetic, but I definitely would go there if the story about herds of fat cats were true.

      Hey! Look at me! After eight years of blogging I finally figured out how to enable this “Reply” function!

  • Constant Comment

    Heather had it exactly right: Marrakech has been so over-romanticized! i had fun reading about this jaunt of yours — 48 hours??? You go all the way to Marrakech and stay 48 hours?? Does anybody really do that??

    You are my favorite travel writer for sure, but I really love it when you have your crank on.

    Top Cat: I’m sending you brain waves…pic me!

  • Laura

    The fact that you included the exact RGB formula for the Majorelle Blue is impressive and appreciated. You consistently give us professorial details in your blog. Thank you for that.
    I would be interested in seeing the craft of the women in the co-op. Is it authentic and local or staged for tourists? I visited a few different craft co-ops in China with mixed results. I am very curious to see what you found. Do share, please.

  • Eric

    I googled Essaouira cats and found beautiful photographs of happy cats. Looks like everybody who goes there comments on the abundance of cats in that village and how the Moroccans are kindly towards them. Good to know.

    I too vote for more Morocco, but even if you went to the Mall of America I’d want to tag along just to see what you would come up with. Can’t wait for the next excursion.

  • Barbara Lemme

    I am in awe of that blue! How vibrant it was/is. It’s fun to see the cats enter your travel pics and paintings. Your paintings for the garden book will be wonderful.

  • Susie

    More please.
    If I traveled abroad I would be a sucker at every turn….I appreciate your savvy and unvarnished take on your foreign adventures.
    This was a two-cups-of-tea read today, thank you for the education and laughs.

  • Deborah

    Love the Majorelle Bleu. Trying to decide what I could paint that color, now that I have the secret formula. And yes, I’d love to see the women’s coop stuff.

  • Mindy

    I am intrigued that all these great photos were taken with a Lumix. I have one, but have always treated it as the red-haired stepchild to my “big” DSLR. The colors you get with the Lumix are incredible. I will take mine out, spend a little time with the instruction book and take it out for a photo shoot.

    I vote for the women’s market. I love to see what talented women around the world do. I am involved with a group that does micro financing for women in the developing world – mostly Latin America and they have developed small businesses that now support entire families. When are we going to figure out that women should be leading the world?

  • Patricia

    Loved the blog. Cats, watercolors, and travel. Perfect combination. I hope you post the women’s crafts. I am fascinated by your triscuit paintings – hope I win one.

  • Janet

    I agree with Laura. Thanks for the RGB formula for the lovely blue. I’ve always wanted to go to Marrakesh and Zanzibar for lots of reasons and also because I love the ways those words feel in my mouth. Thanks for the 50-cent tour.

  • Maryanne in SC

    Ah, thank you again. Vivian. It has been raining for days here but Essaouria, the RGB for Majorelle Blue, and (as Constant Comment says) you with your crank on have brightened things up quite nicely.
    Yes, please, your account of the women’s art collective.

  • Ann

    I can’t believe you only spent 48 hours in Marrakesh! Would love to see the Women’s crafts in future blogs. The Majorelle Bleu is truly beautiful and worth the trip. I greatly admire your minature work and your books.
    I do have a comment about taking photos in shops – I believe you should always ask permission before you shoot; after all the merchandise is someone’s original creation. I’m also disappointed that even after being asked to delete the photo, you went ahead and published it on the blog. Copyright applies everywhere, not just North America.

    • Vivian

      Hi Ann —

      You raise an excellent point. I have ever done research on the legalities of vacation snapshooting, so I’ve looked into it. Shops are public places so my first inquiry was into how far privacy laws in certain countries extend into public places. So far, the only country that I can find where it is actually illegal to photograph people in public spaces is Greece. In 2006 Kuwait tried to outlaw all public photography but quickly rescinded the measure. In the USA that issue was settled in 2006 when the N Y State Supreme court ruled against Erno Nussenzweig in his 1 million dollar suit against a photographer who had taken his portrait without permission in Times Square in 2001. The court rules that it’s OK to photograph people in the USA in public places where they have no expectation of privacy. And altho Walmart can ask you not to photograph their toilet paper aisle, they cannot legally prevent you from doing so.

      As regards France, it turns out that with the passage of the Presumption of Innocence and Rights of Victims legislation in 2001, the publication of any photograph of a person without their express consent is prohibited, even if it was taken at a demonstration on the Champs Elysees. This applies to all photography, and is irrespective of editorial or artistic or personal or advertising use. There is anecdotal evidence that things are even more restrictive in practice, with some members of the public and Police occasionally trying to prohibit people from merely taking photographs, which in fact the PIRV law does not ban — only their publication. I think that in the future I will have to only “publish” landscape photography on my blog re: France.

      Hey France. Lighten up.

      Now when it comes to fashion, clothing designers are not entitled to the same copyright protections as artists and authors, not according to a 200-year-old United States case which is still cited as precedent which found that clothing is a utilitarian item, not artistic expression or scientific invention, and therefore, not copyrightable. Although French courts have upheld copyrights for clothing design, those judgements have never held up when plaintiffs have appealed to American courts.

      Now, if I were to sell knock-off items based on someone else’s design, that may or may not be TRADEMARK violation depending on the plaintiff’s ability to prove that my copy is so close to the original item so as to deceive consumers into mistaking it for the original item.
      I have absolutely no intention to make knock odd copies of ugly YSL caftans. So I think I’m good in leaving my photo of the YSL “Summer” caftan up on my blog.

  • Helen McHargue

    I love bright colors in gardens but that blue is almost too much. Is it really that vivid in the flesh? I so admire your ability to stick to your guns while traveling. I’m such a Canadian wimp and tip everyone for fear of offending. Yes, I probably would have ended up looking at the Berbers with the asshole and paying too much for the cab.

  • Jeannie

    I looked up Essaouira cats, since I had not clue one as to where it was. I found this interesting.
    The garden is gorgeous! I love that blue and the tropical foliage is stunning. I especially liked the cobblestoned pathways. I am a sucker for them.
    What an author will do for personal research into a subject is amazing. I am not sure I would have braved Marrakech alone. The meat vendor with the bag of cat food did restore my faith in humanity though. Thanks always for taking me out of my teeny tiny world in the wasteland to a vibrant, and more interesting one of glorious colors and happy cats.

    • Vivian

      Jeannie, thank you for the link to Help The Street Animals of Morocco. They do important, loving work. They are my heroes!

      I just donated $76.50 (that’s 50 British pounds) to the cause. Whew. Now I can live with myself.

      I wonder if the people who run the Majorelle and are so protective of their $1800 caftans bother to care for the neglected and abused animals that work and roam the rue Yves Saint Laurent?

  • Carol

    I want the white cat with black ears and tail!

    My vote is yes on all-women’s crafts co-operative in a Moroccan village. I personally would love to see them.

  • Patricia

    I loved the Jardin Majorelle … both in person (warm sunny day) and in your photos. Love Majorelle Bleu. If you invented a color, what would it be? I think mine would be some sort of pinky bluish purple… I am a cat person and am happy to learn the cats in Marrakesh are treated well. I was not all that happy by how heavily loaded the little donkeys were but reminded myself they didn’t work them any harder than they worked themselves…

    • Vivian

      Thank you, Patricia, because I’ve been thinking of you ever since my April post and YOU sussed that I was headed to Majorelle. I would love to hear about your experience of that magnificent garden…I think it’s rare to see it on a cold, rainy May morning and I’m sure your experience of it is completely different than mine.

  • whimsy2

    LOVE that white cat with black eyes! Your pictures are (exemplary? magnificent? Gorgeous?)Thank you!

  • Bev

    I was very interested in your comments about photography in France. Cartier-Bresson and Doisneau must be turning in their graves.

    And as I won’t be visiting Jardin Majorelle anytime soon, the next best thing would be to go in the draw for your triscuit.

  • I look forward to your posts every Friday! Have your books and have learned much about water color from you as well. Thanks so much for sharing your ‘wanderings’ with us!

  • Love the photos of the blue house. You do find the most interesting places once owned by Artists. Oh and of course the cats. :) I will need to come back and re read better as I skimmed thru as your posts are loooong. :) but don’t quit I love them it just takes me a little bit to get thru it all. Bummer on the gal who didnt claim your painting but If your painting of Monets garden goes unclaimed again and we get another chance at it :)) but I would welcome the new one too. :)

  • Mais oui, I want to see what the creations of an all-women’s crafts co-operative in a Moroccan village 20 kms outside of Marrakech looks like! Thank you for a great post that showed both the dirt and delight of your trip.

  • Jeannie

    I forgot to vote “Yes” on the women’s co-op. I have purchased things made from women’s co-ops and they have been beautiful.

  • Carly

    I, for one, am glad that you are an outlaw. I will probably never go to Morocco so I appreciate that you bring back such off-the-record images and insights.

    I think it is very ungenerous to begrudge travelers and seekers a harmless peek into a dress design for god’s sake. And why can’t the people who run Monet’s house in Giverny allow photos of some chairs and tables?

    Now I’m going to make another cup of tea and go back and visit Marrakech with an excellent traveling companion. Jeanie said it: thank you for taking me out of my world. I love your trespasses.

  • Caroline

    Ahhhhhhh, loved the exotic garden visit. I don’t think Morocco is on my list of Must See Countries so I do appreciate visiting your version of it. That garden is so different from anything I’ve ever seen.

    And about publishing photos of that dress, it’s not like you’re beating a horse or denying women their basic human rights so WTF is the problem?

  • Carol

    The ponytail palm is the largest I have ever seen. Wow. Thanks for that picture!

  • Joan

    OMG! I won the Monet by default! I’m thrilled to own a Vivian Swift triscuit.

    I loved the tour of Morocco, the encounter with the professional BSer, Glad you stuck by your gut and toured that fabulous garden. I have no desire to go to Morocco but I’m so glad you did and took all the pix which are fabulous!

    I detest when anyone mistreats an animal, I don’t care what the culture. Abuse is abuse in any language. The guy with the horses should be buggy whipped. ASS!

    I have to go back and check on the tubby tabby cats of that place with the exotic name. God bless all the people who look out for them.

    I’d love to see the pix of the women’s craft place. I love ethnic crafts.

    I’m sending my snail addy via separate email. Thanks so much for this chance to own your lovely little painting. Oh, yes, do put my name in for the next drawing….I love this chance to win a little lovely!
    Joan in NV

  • Joan

    I thought I’d better put my name in for the latest drawing in case my comment was lost in my post about your Morocco trip. I’d love to win another one of your triscuits.
    Joan in NV

  • AnotherBev

    I’m so happy I found your blog, looking around for advice about going to Marrakech. I’m planning a visit in December and I appreciate the no nonsense point of view. I hope I will be strong enough to ward off the BS.

    Interesting discussion about public photography. It never crossed my mind. Will have to read your reply to Ann again to decide how to proceed.

    Thank you for such an interesting blog. I don’t know your books YET but I am heading to Amazon to check them out right now.

  • Patricia

    I’ve sent you some of my jillion photos of Jardin Majorelle. I was there in March, and like you, right when the garden opened. I wandered and took photos and took photos and wandered a bunch more (and took some more photos. Despite the sunshine, it was still a little crispy. The garden had so many corners and lanes and hidden spots … at times, I couldn’t see another person. I have no idea how big it was. It felt huge and intimate and endless all at the same time.

  • Vivian, what an incredible tour! Maybe you should think about writing illustrated travel books ;) By the way, your Triscuit idea is genius.

  • oh how I’ve missed your posts! (my fault, not yours, I’ve been busy). How I would love to visit Morocco, but just 48hours! not nearly enough time for me. I understand your disturbance though. Your story reminds me of traveling in Indonesia. People are so poor, you get hassled all the time (no I don’t need another damn sari), it’s hard to be nice or trust anyone. Makes the experience less enthralling but it opened my eyes too. I have heard of cats in Morroco, there was a blog many moons back about a couple living in Marrakech and the many cats there. Wish I could find the link but it’s disappeared on me. However, I do have a fun link. Saw this and thought of you –

    Just in case those felines are giving you any trouble..

  • Barb

    I have to say that for the past couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing posts on this site. I love travel and art and I’ve never seen it combined in one package, gift wrapped with such humor and wisdom. Keep up the great work.

  • rachel

    That is such an amazing blue. Sacre bleu! I love the account of your 48 hours and do indeed vote yea on the women’s cooperative. And being in Top Cat’s Top Hat. Hugs and pets all around…

  • i still think you are very brave to travel alone, but the sheer fact that you are doing it for a garden book delights me so much. how lucky are we… well, when you finish the damn book! perhaps authors are just a braver lot, reading a book about a woman on the olive route, she too was traveling alone, but in lebanon and other questionable places right after the war. i cannot imagine ever being so carefree at my age, but then i am not the one selling books and bringing in scads of avid admirers. its always a wonderful experience reading your blog, you have opened my mind in a multitude of ways and i thank you~

  • I am not ashamed to be such a groupie! I have never read travelogues as interesting as yours – and the photos – not to mention the paintings – brings great joy to my screen and my heart!

  • Carol

    I would love to win any triscuit you paint. They are all wonderful. And I vote for a post on craft cooperatives in Marrakech. I am sitting here in Lewisville, Texas. OF COURSE, I want to ‘travel via Vivian’ to Marrakech. Happy week to you and Top Cat and the gang!

  • Tracey

    Marrakech looks like a very pink city so the blue of the garden must be quite a contrast. I vote yes on the cooperative. I’m impressed that the guy feeds the cats. It’s nice to know that cat lovers can be found throughout the city.

    I must say that I think the caftan was hideous and that I doubt anyone would decide to make knockoffs based on a photo from your blog. I’d love to know how many they actually sell.

  • I want to thank you for mentioning the reply feature:)
    I never knew got me Googling and it works..

    I like where you stayed:)

    That pretty time..

    But if I travel again it will be to France and Italy..and Greece.. and Barcelona….The Cotswolds..

    The Maritimes..
    The Cape..California..


    Even the gardens you went to.. not my cup of tea..I love blooms and romance..and roses..and lavender..

    Too blue if ever a thing could be..But happy to have learned where Majorelle blue came from~
    I love learning new it Reply..or Majorelle blue..
    Thank you Vivian.

    And I feel awful when I see animals mistreated.. and old people.

    Re photos.. I never ever mind when soemone uses one of my photos..
    I like to share..
    I did read a very interesting article..forget where ..about people photos and the net and Facebook etc..’re just not supposed to be where you are..or with the one you’re with..

    Can be delicate..?
    I love seeing photos so I hope no one ever stops..

  • Sue

    I really wanted the Monet, but I’d be happy with Marrakech! It looks like such a colorful place!

  • Judy Jennings

    Back in the sixties when I was in school there was a weekly cartoon on television with the COOLEST character I had ever seen. I was in LOVE with him–not his cartoon looks so much, but his dreamy voice. My teenage hormones were running wild at the time. He was just HIP and a little tiny bit bad, and HE was the leader of the alley pack. Everyone looked up to him. Oh my, I hadn’t thought of him in quite a while, and then you start going around talking about TOP CAT, Top Cat, top Cat. Oh, Top Cat. Where are you now?

    • Laura

      Judy -I remember Top Cat cartoon reruns! He would be on when I finished delivering my afternoon paper route. I think he wore a lavendar vest with a snappy hat.

  • Laura

    Public photography- we all must be in thousands of vacation photo background in thousands of albums and slide shows around the world. How could anyone regulate their image when they are at the Louvre, Niagara Falls, Times Square or Le Tour Eiffel? Has anyone ever tried to identify the strangers in their vacation photo backgrounds?

  • Erin Kloosterman

    I don’t know if I still qualify to win the “Triscuit :)”, but I just wanted to say that I love your books so much. I stumbled upon “When Wanderers Cease to Roam” right after college, and it was like a balm to my restless soul. I was working in my first “grown-up” job, and I was desperately jealous of my friends who were traveling or going on adventures. Reading about staying put helped to change my attitude and challenged me to look for beauty all around me. And, it re-awakened my childhood love of cinnamon sugar toast.

    Thanks for writing, both in print, and in your blog. Your pictures are inspiring, and your art is breathtaking. Thanks for making a positive space on the internet!

  • I’m not sure Marrakech would be my cup of tea, either, although the gardens are stunning and your triscuit captures it perfectly! Love those blues and terracottas. And the cat, of course. All the color. Not so much the creeple people trying to take you for a magic carpet ride, but part of the “charm” I suppose. And sun. And warmth. And a beautiful spot to stay. Well, maybe a little cup of tea!