Friday, 17 December 2010


I've just come back from five days in Marrakech. Hmm, not quite what I expected, to be honest. We stayed in the Kasbah (sounds exotic but wasn't) and the streets were crowded and narrow, full of shops selling everything from soap powder to live chickens. There were motor cycles everywhere and it was difficult to walk through the streets without running the risk of being mown down.

The accommodation was very nice. We stayed in a Riad, which is the name for the many courtyard hotels you find in the old parts of the city. It was strange when we first arrived. The streets were too narrow for the taxi to negotiate so we had to get out and pull our cases the rest of the way until we arrived at a smart door that was the entrance to the Riad. Honestly, you wouldn't know it was there unless you spotted the tiny gold plaque on the wall.

Our room was comfortable and nicely furnished. We had a large bathroom and a balcony to sit on. The Riad became our retreat from the noise, dirt, crowds and general mayhem of the city. We ate in one night and the cook made a couple of tagines for us to try.

Our saving grace was a trip to the coastal resort of Essaoira, a three hour drive away but well worth it. We had a pleasant wander through the streets and stopped for a seafood lunch.

The shopping in Marrakech is good. I particularly love the coloured lanterns you can buy nearly everywhere and the silver jewellery. If it wasn't for the paltry luggage allowance of EasyJet, I would have bought much more.

However, the experience has given me a few writing ideas to develop now I'm back home.

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