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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Travel: A short break to Morocco

The best part of travelling for me is experiencing the culture of a place. By culture I don't mean art or theatres, I mean catching a glimpse of what the people are really like, eating like a local, speaking with a local and the most fun bit, shopping like a local. I love to have a real sense of a place by the time I leave.

One such place, incorporated all of my travel loves. Morocco. We visited Marrakech, which was probably the first place I've been to which satisfied all my romantic imaginings. The souks were a warren of stalls and I felt very proud when a stallholder jokingly told me that I "haggled like a Berber". We bought lanterns from a young boy in a workshop set back from the main drag and watched while he proudly oiled the goods we had bought. We ate at cafes with the locals where the staff wore pristine white lab coats, sipped mint tea while watching the goings on at Djemaa el Fna and strolled through the breathtaking Jardin Majorelle.

After a few days we travelled by train through the desert, via Casablanca to car-free Fez which felt wonderfully medieval. Here donkeys laden with goods plodded through the narrow streets. We stayed in a beautiful riad, ate richly flavoured tagines and drank even more mint tea in a courtyard surrounded by the lovely scent of orange trees. The stuff of dreams and now beautiful memories.


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