Monday, June 6, 2011


Remember this one?
It appears in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (9th ed.) as having been written by Hughes Mearns (1875 - 1965),
As I was walking up the stair

I met a man who wasn't there.

He wasn't there again today

Oh, how I wish he'd go away!

My version:
As I was climbing down the stair,

I heard a creak should not be there,

Poor old knees don't work so well,

'Where's the lift for this old gal?'
I found some more Moroccan stairs as I sorted through my photos.
Most of my photos of stairs are in the medinas - the old mud brick walled centres of the old cities - great areas to explore and wander. They are mostly poor areas and are sometimes unrestorable due to so many communal walls and narrow winding streets. There are still some large homes tucked away in these unlikely areas, with open, flowery central courtyards, ornate balconies and many rooms with intricate plaster and tile decoration. Some have been made into charming hotels and guest accommodation, called 'riads', usually owned by foreigners.
The word 'maintenance' isn't in the Moroccan vocab, so a grotty, dirty surface is usually 'cleaned' by literally splashing over a coat of brightly coloured paint. Such a shame to see the beautiful tiled surfaces treated with so little respect.
..a rare sight - clean and swept entry and steps.
The outrageously ostentatious Hassan 2nd Mosque in Casablanca had plenty of wide shallow stairs made from imported marble, and ornate entry doors made from solid titanium!!
...not quite as glamourous, but intriguing just the same, these fit the 'inbetween' category.
This ladder is in a ceramic factory - no workplace health and safety issues here!! 
Yes, we found some 'ordinary' stairs which turned out to be an escalator in the new and amazingly 'ordinary' [by Western standards] railway station in Marrakesh. It was such a novelty, that it was worth a photo. Such a relief to not have to climb, but oh, so ORDINARY.

By the way, the trains and inter city buses were fabulous - clean, on time, cheap, much higher standard than Australian public transport.

Yes, Morrocco is a land of extraordinary and unbelievable contrasts and contradictions [more on that to come in later posts].


  1. What inspiring photos....hope to be able to visit there some day...

  2. My travel taste buds have been somewhat tantalised by these images. Photos never do the 'grot' justice, so I can imagine the state of some of the gorgeous ceramic tiles. Your current posts are going to be quite a travelogue. Thanks.