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Moroccan Love Affair

Did I have any expectations before we arrived? Actually none at all, mainly because I really knew very little about the country I was about to arrive in. Therefore, with an open mind I found that I simply fell head over heels in love with Morocco.

Let me take you to the beginning of my love affair. On arrival at Marrakech airport, we headed straight for the high Atlas Mountains taking a breathtaking journey full of winding cliff edge roads and stunning views. Our first night was spent at the Capaldi Hotel. Hidden behind huge wooden doors that opened to reveal perhaps the most serene and tranquil place that I have ever found, I cannot think of a time when I have had a better night’s sleep. Instant relaxation is to sip hot chocolate beside a roaring fire as the day slips gently beyond the snow capped Atlas Mountains. An evening then followed full of great food which was to include what was the first of many traditional Moroccan Tagines and as always in Morocco a first class service.

Following breakfast we headed higher up into the mountains, again, we sampled some wonderful food made using the spices which Morocco is so famous for. Our second evening saw us treated to a local Berber meal and a display of traditional dancers and drummers. The peace and tranquillity of the mountains was shattered on the third day with the sights and sounds of Marrakech. We wandered the souks, bartered with the shopkeepers and shopped - Did I need a carpet? For some inexplicable reason I began bartering and then got really determined to have the carpet not at his best price, but at mine. Looking back I’m kind of glad the shopkeeper walked away first. My three young children and a silk carpet? perhaps not! Just lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the souk, watch the entertainers in Jemaa el-Fnna square, wander down the little alleyways and let your senses be assaulted with the aroma from the spices, the leather, the many food stalls, maybe you’ll spot a snake charmer, monkeys or even blue and green chicks – I kid you not, blue and green chicks!. One thing is for sure, in Marrakech you never know what you are going to see next. Yet once inside your riad calm and tranquillity is restored with the constant hustle and bustle of Marrakech left behind the imposing walls of the riad.

If you were not quite ready for a quiet evening, the square once again comes alive at night. People gather playing music and singing, as ever the hawkers ply their trade or why not try a Marrakech dinner show. There are many bars just a short walk from the medina, most remaining open long in to the night. I loved the delicate handmade lanterns seen in many of the hotels and restaurants which of course I was so tempted to buy but then how do you get them back home.

After three amazing days in Marrakech we headed towards the Atlantic coast and the town of Essaouira. Ever seen a goat climb a tree? Then go to Morocco. The goats climb the trees to get to the Argon nuts and remain in the tree to continue grazing. In Essaouira we had a lovely lunch at Dar L’Oussia. Take a late afternoon stroll along the beach maybe ride a donkey or even a camel and then watch the sunset. Finally, we headed south to Agadir, Morocco’s main beach resort. The town has a mix of hotels ranging from budget to five star. The larger resort hotels are located out of the city, many boasting private beaches. At the end of my incredible week in Morocco, I was left with wonderful memories. The food was sensational, the people wonderful, the scenery breathtaking and the sights and sounds just sometimes indescribable. I cannot wait to return and rekindle my love affair. My special thanks to Anatolian Sky Holidays for such a wonderful week.