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Published: December 7th 2017
Today we begin flight 3/15 from Madrid to Marrakesh.
It was sad to leave Madrid. The flight was uneventful although the airport is massive. It took about 30 minutes to get from customs to our gate. I checked my Qantas status and Becs and I could use the Iberian Airlines, but Becs wouldn't leave the kids outside. They have a great lounge with Veuve champagne and pretty tasty breakfast tapas. When we landed in Marrakesh there was some sporadic clapping in the cabin acknowledging the pilot's abilities and then we faced the inevitable debacle of Morrocan customs. There is a World Bank statistic that demonstrates that the number of people in uniforms is directly proportionate to the country's per capita GDP. One couple (he was in a suit) were taken aside and told to wait outside a row of rooms with Police written on each one. You could almost hear the snap of latex gloves!
It was a short drive from the airport to the Medina which is the old city of Marrakesh. This is our first time in Marrakesh and it is exactly as expected. Crappy cars, donkeys, people with handcarts, basically fantastic. The traffic is completely chaotic
and about 60% of all traffic are little motorbikes. We are met at the entrance to the Medina by one of the Riad staff, which is just as well as it would be seriously impossible to find. He took us down a side alley and then another, then 3 taps at the wooden door. Inside it is amazing. I probably have to acknowledge Catherine Wilkinson who recommended it. It is 3 Riads joined together. Each is a collection of rooms facing onto the courtyard. The entire city is landlocked.
Laurent, the manager, took us through a somewhat rigorous check in process which is another thing about 3rd world countries. Do they really think we are going to try to stay in Morocco? We had lunch on a rooftop terrace which involved walking through part of the Souk which is the large marketplace within the Medina. It is divided into various artisan areas. Everyone is in good spirits and the kids think the place is great. Gus has been offered hash about 5 times between the Riad and the restaurant so he thinks it's fantastic. Constance is just loving the colour and excitement. After lunch we head deeper into the Souk. It is hard going, whilst there are no cars there are plenty of motorbikes weaving their way through the alleys. What I don't really understand about these types of markets are why the stalls all sell the same things. Becs found some plates that took her fancy, but we didn't buy anything yet!
We had dinner at the Riad which was an amazing spread of Moroccan vegetables for entrée and then chicken done in lemon and almonds for main, finished off with a chocolate cake/mousse.
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