Inch’Allah

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Marrakech – Morocco – 2003/06/18 to 2003/06/22: 5 days trip to Marrakech with Mari Chan, first time in Africa for both of us. It was a bit hard to find courage to visit around in the middle of afternoon, under this sun. Afternoon is made for long rest at the Cafe terrace, drinking of course mint tea and eating some fine Morocco cakes.

The stay in a Moroccan Riad is highly recommended. This is a typical house, and the best may to enter and live the atmosphere of Marrakech. Recommended places to visit are of course in The Medina, The old city of Marrakech: the Souks where negotiations are a rule (you’ll get your souvenir gifts for 50% of the price). Spending the day in a Souk is sometimes a bit tiring: the place is full of everything, you can get lost quite often but it’s part of the fun, the sellers are sometime trying hard to sell you something, they improvise themselves as a guide for your trip in the Souks, … But you will find a unique atmosphere that you should remember for long. Lost somewhere north in the Medina are the Medersa Ben Youssef, an old university and the Museum of Marrakech. This one is worth to see for the architecture and especially the inside main room covered with a sun yellow light.

When the night is coming, the best place to be is the Square Djemaa el-Fna where everyday seems to be a festival. Seemingly, all the population of Marrakech is converging to this site. You’ll find some street restaurants, some musicians, folkloric people showing snakes, and drawing Henne on your hands… This square is charming.

The second part of the trip was a bit resort like style, with a swimming pool included in the hotel and a top class Moroccan restaurant: Hotel Tichka Salam is situated in the new city of Marrakech, Gueliz, and called as the little Mamounia (hotel unaffordable where stars and various famous people are usually stopping).

One point as well, the city was not that crowded with tourists. People were seemingly a bit scared by the recent terrorism in Casablanca. Seeing the density of Commercials on Morocco on French television, this may change for July-August.

Places To Stay – Recommended:
Medina: Riad Hotel Gallia – One double room for 34 Euros/Night;
New City: Hotel Tichka Salam – One double room for 120 Euros/Night;

Usefull Sites:
– Information on Morocco, tips, addresses, … (in French). Les Carnets du Maroc
The Lonely Planet Guide: Morocco
Le Guide du Routard: Maroc (in french)

Azabu Hills

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Two pictures taken in Azabu around my flat, on my way to buy some omiyage. First is a Shrine (with a digitaly added building in the background… ;-) ). Second one is the path next to the Moto Azabu Hills tower….

Matrix @ Shibuya

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Matrix Reloaded is out since this week end. Seemingly, already full booked for the next 3 weeks (almost not exagerated). I like quite a lot the movie posters, quite cool, and I guess, from the number of those you can find in Shibuya, that this second Matrix will be a huge blockbuster… I think I’ll go for the motorbike scene… or Monica Bellucci ….

Links:
– Download the Animatrix at: Into The Matrix
– The Matrix Ducati 996 (seemingly, Ducati doesn’t want to sell their new 999).

City Inc.

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Some pictures taken today while driving around: Roppongi Hills, the now famous new Prada Shop (Designed by Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, Switzerland. Cost around $85 million. Opening June 6th 2003. 3,500 Visitors for the opening week end), and two anonymous trains…

Mental Escape at The Tokyo Photo Museum

araki_03.jpgVery interesting exhibition at Ebisu – Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, for the month of photography in Tokyo. First part of the visit was the Nobuyoshi ARAKI’s « Hana-Jinsei » exhibition, an already acclaimed japanese photographer. The atmosphere was quite oppressive, the surronding music and the theme of the photos, from black & white to extremely vivid colors intriguing dying flowers. Quite fascinating some time as I keep some of the images in my head now. The second part was more relaxing for the mind (we needed it?). Eddie and I were quite impressed by some of the works from the IN&OUT exposition from Japanese Students, developping various themes, sometime with humour. We enjoyed a lot this part. This IN (Internal world) & OUT (look to Society) expo is from May, 30th till June 15th, entrance is Free. Araki’s one is 1,000Yens.

Additional Link: IN&OUT Expo.

Apartment Cafe Evening

hajk_accafe_01.jpgA nice cafe in Harajuku, Tokyo Apartment Cafe, we go quite often with Eddie and Thierry. The atmosphere is cool, quite 70’s like. I love this decoration, and especially the part on the picture, quite relaxing for a talk after work.

Today’s « meeting » was mainly website related. Thierry is building a high-potential website, but still under construction at this time. High potential as it’s already 3 years it has been started, but he has always been keeping the secret on the content… Anyway, we’ll just have to wait (2 more years???)

Link to the Cafe Website, includes a Map: Tokyo Apartment Cafe