Magical Town.

I don’t believe in magic. Except once in a blue moon. Maybe.

And then I visit Izamal in Yucatan. Izamal is one of Mexico’s 35 towns that has been *officially* declared “Pueblo Mágico”. The town is entirely painted yellow … colonial buildings, the market, the huge convent, everything! There are cobblestone streets, large iron lampposts, and the comforting sound of the clippity-clop of horses pulling the calesas.

Sitting under one of the arches of this magnificent courtyard, as twilight sets in, it gets harder to not believe in a little bit of magic.

Oh, well, this must have been a blue moon night. After all, how often do I find myself in a magical town?

Text and Photos by VJ Singh | Far/Back | Izamal, Yucatan, Mexico | Jan 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Have you been to any of the other ‘magical towns’ in Mexico? Send a picture?



Psychedic Mirage. Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco, Dec 2013. 

Yves Saint Laurent gifted Jardin Majorelle to Marrakech, the city that adopted him and his partner in the 60s. They bought an electric-blue villa and its garden (not too far from the medina), preserved the vision of its original owner (landscape painter Jacques Majorelle), and then opened it to the public. A microcosm of the vast desert it exists in, and yet so different and unexpected, the garden is a happy collection of palms, cacti and bamboo from five continents. 

So it’s just a garden. What then makes this feel like a psychedelic mirage in the desert?

  • Hot pink bougainvillea bursting from terracotta planters
  • Architectural cacti in lemon-yellow planters (how does one get hold of one of those for one’s home!?)
  • Bamboos growing against cobalt-blue walls
  • Colorful birds flitting through palm trees
  • Saint Laurent’s gorgeous collection of Moroccan art, that I totally covet. There is a shop but it sells accessories and clothes rather than serious art.
  • A museum features jewelry in a setting that our guide Khadija keeps referring to as “a dream”. A dark room with a star-spangled ceiling and low voltage spotlights shining on stunning jewelry sets.

Khadija’s right. And I hope all my dreams are like this place.