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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Morocco – Marrakech – Salmon is a fish not a colour…

MOROCCO | Sunday, 26 August 2012 | Views [1590]

Destination – Morocco – Marrakech – Salmon is a fish not a colour…

Another day, another country, another currency, another language… 4 countries in a week, no wonder we are so tired!  Yeah, we should have paid more attention to those French classes at school, too late now.  Anyway, another quick flight with Vueling and we arrive in Marrakech.  The Riad Medea (riads are lovely old houses converted into stylish guesthouses charging European prices) organized a taxi to pick us up from the airport.  The taxi driver is really nice and excited (I would be too for 20 Euros for 6 kms) but he only speaks French.  Said, the riad guy comes to greet us and he also only speaks Arabic and French, there’s plenty of sign language and bad school French at work here, it should be fun to watch if a bit painful.  The riad is absolutely gorgeous and so stylish we really don’t want to touch anything just in case we can’t put it back in the right place… but the internet only works in the reception area, the TV can’t be plugged in and Said has the habit of sneaking into guest’s rooms when they are out, for a quick snooze.  Including our room, as we woke him up coming back to the room in the heat of the afternoon. Well, it is always good to share, but hey, style is everything and the place is really nice!  

We are really tired but get up the next day, have breakfast and go to the main square and souk for a look around and a quick meal.  In the evening, Paul goes to get cigarettes and a sandwich and uses the change to buy lollies for the local kids, he gets back so excited by the amount of lollies you can get the kids for a bit of change and how excited the kids are with the lollies.  I’m amazed by how excited he is with the whole lolly experience, kudos. Anyway, after a second day of stylish but frugal breakfast we decide to move hotels and check into the Islane Hotel, near the square.  Not only much closer to the “action” but we really need WI-FI!!!  Also, 5 minutes away from the medina were really more like 30 minutes and to be honest, catching Said having a siesta in our room plus the lack of TV and internet did it.  There’s only so much style without substance we can handle. We go back to the medina and the souk (market) and meet a couple of Italian guys from the hotel for dinner at one of the terrace restaurants.  We have a nice long dinner and talk in English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

It’s fun and we do it again the next eve, going radical and eating at one of the food stalls in the main square (Jemaa el’fna), where everything happens, yeah, more couscous and tagine, “s'il vous plait”.

One interesting thing about Marrakech is that all the buildings are the same shade of pinkish “salmon”. It’s like there was a huge sale on salmon paint and the whole city just went for it like mad.  Even the new town keeps with “the theme”. The “action” happens in the souk (market/bazaar) in the morning and at the square after 7pm.  Between 2 and - 7 all the sane people and some of the insane, are in their rooms/homes hiding from the heat. We can easily get used to this.  The square comes alive in the evening with great food stalls, craft and trinket sellers, beggars, snake charmers, henna tattooists, music and dance troupes, people in full tribal gear, tourists from all over the world and everything else in between.  You have the option to brave the crowds or to go to one of the terraces above the restaurants and watch it from afar.  We did both and really enjoyed it.  It’s a bit hard to enjoy the madness of Marrakech in the first 3 days after being softened by the easy life of Greece, Turkey and Barcelona but after 3 days we get right back into it. After 5 days, it is time to go to Essaouira (the beach), not to worry, we’ll be back here soon for more couscous and tagine, “merci”.


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