Trip Start May 04, 2011
125Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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The initial drive into a new city tells so much about the culture. This particular one was no different. Everyone creates their own lane, mopeds galore and only one small traffic light that I had to look for to see how the driver knew to stop. We enter into the Medina (the old city) passing the large Koutoubia Mosque and the wall that surrounds the old city. Aside from Arabic the common language is French, neither of which I speak.
I arrived at the Riad, greeted by Rakshid and a lovely array of local cookies (mostly made with marzipan) and some delicious sweetened green tea
As soon as I heard Lowell’s voice downstairs, I quickly ran to the banister overlooking the courtyard. We reunited with lots of kisses. It was probably a good thing that we were the only ones in the Riad that afternoon. It had been a 20 hour journey for him but determined to push through, we managed to spend the rest of the evening meandering and getting lost in the Medina.
As expected every guy tries to sell you an excursion or “help” you with directions. For some reason they all want to lead you to the main Plaza: Place Jemaa-el-Fna. We actually spent some time chatting with Said, discussing potential day trips to the High Atlas or the Ouzarte Waterfalls. Here they dressed me in a typical headdress, which gets really hot by the way, and I banged away at the bongo drum.
We headed over to the Terrace de Especies, where we sat in the rain at a covered cabana and enjoyed a simple couscous with vegetable and chicken; which in hindsight was by far our favorite meal
They escorted us down a hall, a narrow stairwell and to the back of a large empty dining hall. Not only were we the only patrons but the menu was a prix fixe. Not what we had in mind, since we had already just filled up on the appetizer at the other place, but especially because we were in search of more atmosphere; we decided to check out the international dining room.
We followed the hosts back up the narrow stairs, down a few other hallways lined with beautiful, Moroccan lamps made of silver with lots of cut outs, leaving an illuminated pattern on the ceiling and walls. We arrived at a table next to the pool with live musicians playing lutes and drumming.
We shared the meat and almond filled puff pastry for a starter and a delicious lamb tagine. It was approaching 11:00PM by the time we left and decided to call it a night. Or at least go back to the room.