After missing out on a night’s sleep because of our 5am pick up for the airport on Weds morning – by the time I’d finished packing it was past 3am, and I still had parking tickets to pay and letters to write, we slept in today, making it to breakfast minutes before the 1030hrs cut off time.
It still took us another two hours to leave the riad, but that’s the whole point of a holiday…no rushing, no stress, lots of pottering. (I think we were moving so slowly because we had eaten our way through three immense courses at the Maison Arabe’s Moroccan restaurant the night before and were still drunk on food.)
First up we stopped at a hole in the wall shoemenders to get a new ferrule attached on lil’sis’ walking stick for a few dirhams (& an offer to take my sister’s hand in marriage in exchange). And got our heads around Marrakech’s constant contradictions.
The rest of the day involved history (the El Badi Palace remains, with resident stork),
shopping (I spent quite a while entranced by a passementerie specialist by the El Badi),
the souk (avoiding buying tat & rather wanting pink slippers), revolting food for lunch in filthy surroundings (the Cafe de France tourist-trap panoramique restaurant on the Djemaa El Fna. Thanks a bunch for that recommendation) and a wander in the glorious rose-filled grounds of the justly famous Mamounia hotel at sunset.
We had walked straight into the hotel, past the tourists who were being turned away, with my patented what do you mean, of course we are guests here look, and spent a lovely hour poking around the splendid building and its really beautiful bar, and then being rather appalled at the degage behaviour of the obviously very wealthy French families staying there. (Please, please if you are going to wear your bathrobe in the communal areas, put on some underwear).
I had thought about booking us into Le Marocain, the Mamounia’s stupendous standalone restaurant for New Year, but the hotel concierge rather rudely shot that one down in flames. (“Eet ees foooollly booooooked”. Lip curl, Sneer.) Silly me for even asking. Pah.
Firmly put back in our box, we took a life-threatening petit taxi back to our rather more welcoming riad, where we had supper in front of a fire in a private room off the courtyard. Unfortunately we developed such monstrous couscous babies that we had to abruptly finish our meal and waddle upstairs to our room to lie groaning on the floor.
Now I understand why there are so many pizza restaurants in Marrakech. *Burps*