Exploring Marrakesh

Top 6 Places to Visit in Marrakech

by Alison Stone

Marrakesh or Marrakech, meaning Land of God, is a city lying in the North-Western African nation Morocco. The city is divided into two sections called Medina and Gueliz. The city has a large number of historical sites and museums for tourists and even locals to visit. The thing about Medina is that you can reach a lot of places on foot, even though the walk is long, you do not have to worry about paying for transport. So, if you decide to spend your vacations in this beautiful city, here are some places you might want to consider visiting:

Koutoubia Masjid

  1. Koutoubia Masjid

The Masjid is the symbol of Marrakech. This place is as important as the Eifel Tower is to Paris. It is right beside Djemaa El-Fna and is named after the booksellers market that was once located there. It is still used for prayers and non-Muslims are not allowed to enter but they can see it from the outside. It was built following the themes of the Almohad and topped with four copper globes.Marrakech Souks

  1. Shopping At Souks

This is the most popular market place of the Marrakech. All you just need is to name an item and you will find it at really affordable rates if you are a local. If you are a foreigner, then they will probably demand more so do not forget to bargain with them. Secondly, if you run out of local currency, then you will find merchants willing to accept the equivalent amount in dollars. Its located north of Jemaa El-Fna.Maison Tiskiwin

  1. Maison Tiskiwin

Maison Tiskiwin is a big chunk of private property under the name of a veteran Dutch anthropologist. The house is decorated by arts and crafts that have been collected from South Morocco and Sahara. The tour is basically a walk through the different countries from the Tunisia to Timbuktu. The entry is not free but it is still really cheap. Saadian Tombs

  1. Saadian Tombs

The Saadian Tombs were discovered pretty late, around the turn of 20th century. They are located near the Kasbah masjid which is extremely popular among the visitors. If you visit the tombs, then you would always find a large crowd so be prepared to stand in line for a while. You will also find tombs of Jews and Christians. There is a small entry fee here as well. Bahia Palace

  1. Bahia Palace

The palace offers a proper tour by providing you with a guide on your visit. Those who want to experience the life of a 19th century nobleman would definitely find this an ideal stop. The exterior is decorated with a big garden containing a large number of beautiful flowers and fruit plants. There are usually very few people gathered at the Palace so you have the freedom to roam around without bumping into people. Majorelle Gardens

  1. Majorelle Gardens

While Majorelle Gardens are breathtaking and consists of unique plants and vegetation, it is also a bit overpriced when you compare it with all the other great places you can visit in Marrakech. But, nonetheless, it is a great place to run off to find peace when the city becomes too overbearing. There is a café and a museum in the gardens, and there is a gift shop at the end which also contains 100 year old photographs among other things.

At the end of the day when you are too tired, you would find a lot of exquisite hotels to rest up in. Some of which include Riad El Fenn, Jnane Tamsna, Peacock Pavilions, etc. Enjoy your trip to Marrakech and do not forget to pay a visit to all the above mentioned neighborhoods while you are there.

Author Bio: Alison works at Dissertation cube where she provides dissertation writing help to students. In spare time she writes blogs for students starting their career and for those who are still in jobs. Find her on Google+.

A Gathering for the Ages

Symbiosis Gathering

Photos by Nick Neumann.  Intro by Rourke Healey

Symbiosis Gathering is a transformational music and art festival held in California.  With headliners from Emancipator to Tipper it was truly one of the most impressive psychedelic dance parties imaginable. Over four days, 15,000 people from all walks of life came together to get weird.

Symbiosis could not be described better than a collection of people doing the absolute most. The effort and passion that was put into Symbiosis shined through best in the stages and art installations.

It was not the art, structures or music alone that make Symbiois Gathering, but also the people. The ones who wander into camp to roll J’s, paint faces or offer drinks. The people that introduce themselves to whoever they sit next to. The hilarious porto-potty conversations. The people that compliment you. The ones that invite rather than exclude. The ones that glow and express themselves to the fullest. It was hard to find a soul that wasn’t dancing, content or caring for others. And it was your one job, as a participant, to return the favor to everyone around you.

What ever Symbiosis participants did, they seemed to do it with the most effort. From costume dress up to unique dancing. Indulgence, though wildly abundant, was second to experience and contribution. With DIY and interactive art, participants felt as much a contributor as event promoters.

This phenomenon seems part of a growing trend of west coast events that uniformly lack authority, encourage individualism and offer nothing but good vibes. Spawned from the ideals of Burning Man, Symbiosis participants are allegoric to confrontation and refuse to judge. With some of the same art and many of the same faces, Symbiosis felt much like it’s sister festival, Lightning In a Bottle. The two events appeared coordinated in their defiance against mainstream festival values such as consumption and documentation.

The wave of these ‘be yourself’ festivals is a beautiful thing. But what makes this truly special is that there is nowhere else in the world like this. Nowhere can you escape for four days to a lake with thumping music, insanely expressive and welcoming people and be free from expectations like this. Not even the east coast of the U.S. can match this. Its almost like California is making a statement: We are California and we are going to party exactly how we want to.

Thank you Symbiosis Gathering. See you next time for the Eclipse.

The Changing Face of Sweden

Although far from the chaotic borders of Central Europe, Sweden is at the center of the European migrant crisis. Most migrants traveling to Europe are attracted to Sweden because of its tolerance toward immigrant groups, a fact made clear by the Swedish government which states it will grant automatic residency for any Syrian arriving in the country. Although Sweden has taken in more migrants per capita than any other country in the European Union, immigration to Sweden is not new. Swedish cities, large and small, have been home to immigrants from all over the world for many decades, with most coming from Finland, Iraq, Poland, Iran, the Former Yugoslavia and Syria.


10582904_10152710407396469_4292822206649074376_oBorn and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.

War and Migration: Life on the Mexican Frontier

In a summer of anti-Mexican rhetoric, dramatic drug lord jailbreaks and an international migration crisis, I traversed northern Mexico by myself to see what the real story was. I wanted to go beyond the anger and the divisive language to understand the context of the debate. Political candidates in the United States have said that Mexicans are rapists and murderers, and that we need to seal our southern border. Yet others point to the success of NAFTA and to the growing middle class in Mexico in reducing the poverty that fuels the crime and the desire to emigrate to the United States. I heard rumors in the United States that the destructive drug war in Mexico was coming to an end. What I found was far more complicated and unexpected.

10582904_10152710407396469_4292822206649074376_oBorn and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.

Symbiosis Gathering (Preview)

Cover photo by Piotr Wojnorshki

If you live on the West Coast and can only hit one festival this season, Symbiosis is definitely the one you should attend.  This year the Gathering is a celebrating its 10-year reunion on September 17th-20th at the Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, California.


The lineup is stacked. Here at Breaking Borders, we can’t wait to ride Nicolas Jaar’s blue wave, dance our asses off to the funky sounds of The Polish Ambassador, get deep and dirty to Dirty Bird brothers Justin Martin and Christian Martin, plus newcomers Ardalan and J.Phlip and wobble to the heavy bass beats of Bay Area natives Minnesota and G Jones during their b2b set.  I repeat, the lineup, featuring artists from all over the world, is massive. Be sure to check it out for yourself in full!

Art and Inspiration

The beauty of Symbiosis Gathering is that it is so much more than just music. The golden foothills of Sierras will come alive with art, workshops and inspiration. It all starts with the Elemental Alchemy Immersives that offer enlightening  yoga, permaculture, and visionary art instruction during the week leading up to the festival.

During the festival there will be many talks and panel discussion about a wide range of topics.  We are excited about are Urban Exploring, one of our favorite activities here at Breaking Borders. The visionary art panel features electromineralistic artist Andrew “Android” Jones, plus Xavi Panneton and Carey Thompson. Headlining the long list of speakers is Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.  Here’s the full list of presenters.

This year Symbiosis will come alive giant art boats and floats. So not only will you be able to take a dip in the mid day heat, you’ll be surrounded by art on all sides. Burning Man is packed these days, so artists in the music community have been looking for a new outlet and they found Symbiosis. Nothing better than kicking back in the refreshing water with art all around you, while listening to the most amazing music.

Breaking Festival Borders

The goal of Breaking Borders since the beginning was to find places and stories that are relatively unknown and off the beaten path. Ultimately we aim to inspire people to not only travel, but break out of their comfort zones, go somewhere new or try something different.  Symbiosis Gathering offers exactly that and more. Although it may not be too far from home, you will go on a journey to a different world full of art, music, good vibes and wonderful people.

We Are Symbiosis

Check out this awesome mini-series to learn more about the Symbiosis community.

The Definitive Guide to the Road Less Traveled

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