Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How Do You Like It? (Moor Moor Moor)...


Simon and I arrived Friday on the bumpiest flight imaginable. The winds were only just this side of a typhoon and needless to say I panicked big time. When we eventually made our first stop in Casablanca I was a bundle of nerves. By the time we crashed down in Marrakech I was in need major alcoholic therapy.

We were picked up at the airport about 9:30pm by taxi driver Mohammed (plus son) and dropped off at the edge of the Medina. Our lovely hostess, Flo, then picked us up from the edge of the Medina city wall and took us to our fabulous riad. Spacious, cool (in every sense), central and all ours. Kicked back and we chillaxed.

Later on we ventured out to Jemaa El Fna, the main open space in Marrakech, to seek food and entertainment. And we found both in a bizarre carnival of local life; singers, dancers, tradesmen, food stalls, magicians, costumed acrobats, storytellers... Quite amazing and quite surreal.

On Saturday morning we got up to be greeted by a lovely breakfast prepared by our maid (we have a maid?) and Flo offering us invaluable tourist advice Loins suitably girded we ventured out to see Ben Youssef Medersa (an old Koranic school), Musee de Marrakech (complete with Close Encounters mothership lantern) and Koubba El Badiyin (the last surviving structure from the founding fathers of Marrakech, the Almoravids).

Then we headed south to get (intentionally) lost in the labyrinthine souks. We perhaps didn't intend to get quite as lost as we did but it was fun happening upon crazy market after crazy market accompanied by each fresh assault on the senses.

We settled on Café De Epices for lunch and then headed back to the riad for a bit of shut eye barely avoiding the impending downpour.

The rain was pretty relentless until just before we scrubbed up and were ready to head out the door.

And head we did - straight to Comptoir - the chic/sheikh place to be seen/scene. The food was good. The wine was fine. The place chaotic. The belly-dancers had perhaps seen better days but it was fun. I had the distinct impression that the place had reimported Moroccan chic back from places like Buddha Bar.

We fell in with some other visitors at the next table (Yankee stylist Catherine, just 'so' James and Helen who it turns out lives in my road at 106. No, really. Small world!)

Today we are nursing slight hangovers and planning on a bit more sightseeing before taxing over to Essaouira for four days.

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