Olive trees and dust

by tiresomemoi

La Menara

The Manera Gardens aren’t the kind of gardens Westerners are used to. There are no great lawns, no sculptures, and no exotic flowers. There are acres of orchards and olive groves, a 700 year-old irrigation system, and lots and lots of dirt. The main draw is the central reservoir which diverts water from the Atlas mountains (30ish kilometers away). The reservoir is wondrous now and must have been awesome (in the biblical sense) when it was built.

Camels I passed on the way to the gardensCamel on the way home

Pavillon de la MenaraPavillion de la Menara

The reservoirReservoir

New irrigationirrigation


Camels I saw on way back to the Medinacamels on the way there


There is a central paved path* that leads into the gardens and rings the reservoir. The only direct access to the reservoir is through the pavilion. There are rutted dirt paths into and through the olive groves. I didn’t check out the restrooms.

*A more thorough description of the path (and the gardens) can be found at archnet.org:

“The nineteen-meter-wide pedestrian path was constructed or reconstructed under the ‘Alawid dynasty, centuries later than the other dirt paths between the trees. This walkway is paved with red concrete and tile, employing a large-scale repeating box pattern. Each module of the paving pattern is 12.5 meters long and 9.5 meters wide. The path is two modules wide, and thirty-three modules long, with a total length of 412 meters.”