Weekend With is an ongoing Instagram series that features people we like photographing places we’d like to be. Follow @thecut on Instagram to join in, and tag your photos with #weekendwith when you travel somewhere new.
Growing up in New Zealand, London-based photographer Adrienne Pitts (@hellopoe) always had the urge to travel. “We are so far removed from everything there at the bottom of the world that we are taught at an early age to spread our wings and fly,” she explained. She recently booked a trip to Morocco with some friends and captured the scene of them “wandering back streets, getting lost in medinas, eating all the food we could and catching up on life along the way.” Scroll down for her photos from the trip.
“Street scene, Marrakech. In trying to be as unobtrusive as possible whilst still photographing the streets and buildings of the city, I got into the habit of shooting from the hip. This resulting image was one of my favorites - it wasn’t until after I got home and looked through the images that I found these men had entered opposite sides of the frame at just the right time. I’ve yet to find a successful translation of what this graffiti says, so if you happen to have one, I’d love to find out what it is!”
“A day trip to the Atlas mountains saw us making some new camel friends and listening to the same Ed Sheeran song 126 times on repeat thanks to Karim (our tour guide)’s mp3 player.”
“Spending time in the village of Imlil with Karim and his family gave us a chance to see what life in the mountains is really like — we even talked girls and relationships and what it’s like for him to work alongside his childhood best friend.”
“The Jardin Majorelle is usually top of most tourists’ lists when visiting Marrakech — and for good reason. Whilst most are seduced by the bright blue building and beautiful grounds there (which really are stunning), I think my favorite moment there was drinking expertly poured, endless cups of mint tea on the patio, a cat weaving its way around my ankles before it settled in a furry puddle on the ground.”
“Travelling through Morocco was surprisingly easy — an overnight sleeper train from Marrakech to Tangiers got us close to Chefchaouen, and a grande taxi took us to our final destination. Those little moments between moments, the quieter times in between all the bright colours and incredible scents, became some of our favorites.”
“After our train ride, we grabbed a grande taxi (super cheap when split between three) and made our way to Chefchaouen. Whilst all the websites and guidebooks say to be wary of the guides that ‘prey’ on the tourists at the entrance to the Old Medina, I say good luck to you if you can figure out where you’re going by yourself. If your riad (like ours) is a bit further out than you thought, and you are dragging your bags and gear through cobbled streets with no real idea of where you’re headed (medinas are traditionally mazes, and we didn’t have Wi-Fi to access Google Maps) then yes, by all means help yourself and these guys out and give them 50 dirham ($5) to show you the way. Everyone’s just trying to make a living best they can. And you can surely spare five bucks, right?”
“Like many places in Morocco, some of the most beautiful and oldest parts of each city are held within the medina. Like Marrakech, Chefchaouen has an old town and a new town, and the old town remains hidden from view until you walk through one of the gates and discover it on foot. It’s total sensory overload for the eyeballs, with blue as far as the eye can see. We spend our time there with stupid grins on our faces and frantically trying to clear more room on our memory cards. All told we spent two days in Chefchaouen, and honestly we felt that was about right. During our time there we wandered the medina from top to bottom and back again, clambered to the old fortress wall to look out over the city, got offered hashish more times that we could count, came across so many genuinely kind people, made friends with all the cats (maybe someone let one sleep the night in their bed …) and discovered one of the few places in town to get an ice cold beer.”
“On our way to Fes, we make a rest stop at the prescribed roadside restaurant and we decide to try the local fare, approaching the roadside butcher, his cuts and carcasses on a bench in front of him. We try the lamb, sprinkled with ras el hanout and served with generous chunks of bread. A chicken brazenly struts around, totally oblivious as his brethren lie chopped and diced on the butchers block. Cats greedily gobble the pieces of meat which fall from hungry travelers’ hands to the floor. It’s fatty and rich and honestly just what we needed to break up the journey — along with a mint tea, naturally.”
“Here’s the reason hiring a guide in Fes is a great idea: Fes has 9,000 streets. 64 shortcuts. Only 30 of the streets have names. Our first stop — and the reason we made Fes a destination on our trip — the Chouara leather tannery. We were well-prepared for the smell which would assail us at the tannery — and honestly, it wasn’t that bad. But the bunch of mint given to us at the door certainly was a help. Why the special smell? It’s that magic mixture of ingredients used to cure and tan the hides — cow urine, pigeon poop, quicklime, salt, and water.”
“The hides here are then dyed with natural ingredients. Yellow is done by hand — it used to be saffron but now it’s too expensive so now pomegranate and turmeric are used. The red is wild poppies. Green is mint. It’s entrancing.”