Apr 162017 Tagged with , , , 0 Responses

Damask Rose – Rose Oil from Morocco

As we wound our way back to Marrakech through the High Atlas Mountains, dusty mile after dusty mile.  (Actually the main roads are pretty marvellous!) we passed numerous businesss selling Rose oil products.

Ishmael, our Berber guide was an absolute boon on our trip.  He’s fluent in four languages and is a whizz at maths – if we wanted to purchase anything he  always stopped at the Women’s Co-operative stores.  He grew up in a small, but picturesque village in the mountains and though coming from a relatively wealthy family, knew only too well the difficulty women face in a male dominated world.

Every morning the women collect the tiny, tiny buds from the rose hedges that line the vegetable gardens – a laborious job.  During late April- late May – just one month of the year, the famed Damask rose blooms in the Dades Valley.  I would have loved to travel through in May when the scent from the thousands of rose bushes would have filled the valleys and villages at Rose Festival time.  It is only during this one month that the buds can be processed.  Early each morning the ladies harvest their rose buds and rush them to the Co-op as the entire process must be finished on the same day to preserve the scent and oil.

We were told it takes 4 tonnes of rose buds to make one litre of essential oil – that’s 12,000 rose buds!  That’s a lot of picking!  So next time you use rose oil, or rose water – think of the Moroccan desert and the lives of the Berber women – add another drop for good measure and buy another bottle!

Facebook Twitter Google Email Email
May 222015 Tagged with 0 Responses

Isola Bella – WOW

We had seen so many pictures of this garden on Lake Maggiore that we had earlier decided not to visit if we were short of time.  However, being short of energy on our last day here we opted for this as an easy option.  Just five mins to the ferry and five mins on the ferry and we were arriving at the island we had ferried happily past the day before. Read More…

Facebook Twitter Google Email Email
May 092014 0 Responses

Granada – The Alhambra & Generalife Gardens

Today was one of the highlights of our Spanish trip no doubt.   The famous Alhambra and Generalife gardens (the garden of the Architect).

Coming this far and to something so incredibly important we find it extremely worthwhile to pay a little more, take more time and enjoy the experience with the insight you can only really gain with a local guide.  There’s no way in the world I’m going to remember half of what we were told, but will manage to retain some I’m sure. We bought the book – as you do – it’s only the second one in three weeks so we are being restrained!

Read More…

Facebook Twitter Google Email Email