Bab Aganou

by tiresomemoi

Today was the first day since my arrival in October that I wore a t-shirt out of doors, something to celebrate, a day to note in my calendar. I know weather talk is tiresome but rain, cold, and general gloom have been the main topic of conversation since my arrival. I can now discuss pig weather (bad), dog weather (very bad), and just generally shitty weather* with fluency. And speaking of animals, this week in French class, we learned that French babies are not delivered by storks but spring fully formed from cabbages. I suppose a baby sprouting from a cabbage is no more preposterous than one delivered by a stork but storks are slightly more poetic. Cabbages are a dime a dozen but storks are flying dinosaurs**. In a roundabout way this gets me to Bab Aganou. Bab Aganou was built by the Almohads in 1147 and is said to be the most beautiful of all the Medina gates***. Like many tall structures in Marrakech, the Bab Aganou gate is topped with mammoth stork’s nests and, in the spring, nesting storks.

Bab AganouBab er Robb

Nesting storksStorks

In flightIn flight


*(Colloquial) French weather terms:

temps de cochon, mauvais temps

temps de chien, très mauvais temps

temps de merde

**The name pterodactyl is, apparently, out of date. The proper name is “pterosaur”. Pterodactylus, where we get pterodactyl from, is a genus of pterosaur and the only member of the family Pterodactylidae.

***The entrance to the royal palace is directly across from Bab Aganou. You can read more about Bab Aganou and the fortifications encircling the Marrakech Medina here.