Palais de la Bahia
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A Placid, Empty Palace in the Marrakesh Medina
Visiting the 19th-century Palais de la Bahia is one of the best ways to escape the hurly-burly of the Marrakesh souks; meandering through the tiled courtyards of Dar Si Moussa, the older of the 20-acre, cat-prowled compound's two buildings, I could practically feel my addled nerves unwinding. The rooms were ransacked long ago, making it easier to appreciate the beautifully painted wood doors and ceilings. The Palais de la Bahia has an emptied-out, contemplative vibe that I actually really liked. There are plenty of other places in Marrakesh to go treasure-hunting.
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Romantic photo opportunities
The warm Moroccan light and the red and pink ochres of the buildings make Marrakesh and endlessly photogenic city. That said, there are some essential self-portraits that everyone needs to bring back from their trip: in front of the Koutoubia minaret, framed against the intricate tiled decoration of the Bahia Palace or the Ben Youssef Medersa, lost amid the foliage of the Marjorelle Gardens, and enjoying either a mint tea at a street café or a stronger sundowner on the roof terrace of a riad. Those of a nervous disposition may want to avoid the snake charmers who attempt to coil their serpent charges around the neck for another classic tourist pose.
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