Fun and Adventure in the Desert of Morrocco
So here I am, after what was a bit of a bumpy landing, in Morocco, my driver was waiting for me at arrivals. We drove through the old quarter it all looked so confusing as the streets were twisting, and weaving but eventually, we arrived at our Riad. (A riad is a traditional guest house with a big interior courtyard. )
I didn’t know this, but in Islam, it is ignorant to show off your wealth so a lot of the buildings exteriors were plain on the outside but had extravagant interiors with stunning tile mosaics, pools, terraced rooftops, and even plunge pools to escape the midday heat.
We first travelled to the old part of Marrakech also known as the Medina. It is full of markets, shops and stalls. I even came across a guy with a monkey and snake charmers with cobras needless to say I was looking over my shoulder all day after I saw those. The markets were loud and busy and to buy anything you had to haggle. The textiles were great, and I even purchased a pair “princes Shoes” in my size. With all the different spices it was a highly sensory experience. The amazing aromas of spicy, sweet and smoky set my mouth watering, and we were enveloped in brilliant colours, rich golden turmeric, a warm beige of cumin and dark red of the paprika along with the textures of saffron threads, star anise and cardamom pods.
The next day we booked a food tour which was more interesting than it sounds. We learned so much about food, where what comes from, how to harvest, pick or cut it and cook it. The local offered so much of their knowledge too. Of course, we hungry so we ate some traditional food called a tajine, which is actually the method of cooking and not the food.... It is a clay dish with a peaked lid that can be filled with meat, potatoes, vegetables, and of course spices and herbs. Served sizzling hot this was delicious and was not too heavy which was good as we had more walking to do. We also tried many types of olives, tried the traditional soup called Harira, which is never served chilled, drank the tea and stopping of the bakery was my fav!! At the end of the tour, when the sun is setting they led us to the main square. It was bustling with locals, and we drank more tea!! All the locals were so kind and helpful; we felt so relaxed and safe the whole time.
The following day we headed off to visit a garden formerly owned by Yves St Laurent prior to his death. The garden had a museum of traditional Berber wares. It is painted an incredibly vibrant but cool blue developed by the artist Jacques Majorelle who created the gardens and is the namesake of them and the paint colour. As the gardens are not so big we hid beneath the date palms to escape the heat as it was so hot, that day it was about 38 Degrees. From there we went to an art museum in the new part of town and we found a restaurant that serves alcohol. The heat left us wanting a few more, but we knew we would have to make our way back to the Riad and didn’t want to chance getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and markets.
We had another really very early start the next morning, so we called it a day to prepare for a private four-day tour of the country and some fun and adventure in the Sahara Desert.