Monday, 24 January 2011

A man on a mission.....

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 Everyone probably knows or can imagine what the Medina of Marrakech looks like, you wander through little alley ways with wooden doors dotted along, but that is all you see, the door here behind the olive tree was the entrance to our riad.
A riad is a townhouse built around a central courtyard, which is usually open to the sky, this has a cooling effect in the summer when temperatures can rise to 50degrees+, ours is over 100 years old and has the original terracotta tiled floors.
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Our riad has only 8 rooms, ours was on the ground floor.

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In the afternoons we would come back and sit on the roof, either on the huge divan or under the tents in the shade. Michael would enjoy a Casablanca, local beer with a little dish of nuts, I would take mint tea & pastries.
Ah I hear those of you that know M, ask, "did he enjoy the food", well yes of course......
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In the main square there are many food stalls, he did debate the sheeps head, but suprisingly these stalls can work out more expensive than the restaurants. Beware if you go there, you have to be very firm, refuse anything that you haven't ordered and perhaps only order one little dish to share and eat like tapas.
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We started with mixed kebabs, (I did notice that when the couple next to us left, the hot tomato dip that accompanied the kebabs was returned to the container that it was ladled from).There were stalls with great big pots of snails, not my cup of tea!
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In the riad we were brought all many of rolls & pastries, fig jam & honey, and also could order cooked to order, M chose an omelette most days. On one of our lunches out we shared a set menu, the starter was a beautiful salad, each segment contained a different one, beetroot, aubergine, pasta, russian... I forgot to take pics of the second course, tagines of chicken, veg, lamb and dishes of veg, lentils & cous cous. Pud in most places was usually a mix of oranges with dates or nuts.
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M with a tagine and my veg cous cous.

We learnt how to make proper Berber mint tea, the green tea must be washed in hot water first to remove dust, then it is brewed with massive amounts of fresh mint, sugar is added into the pot. It is soooo lovely.
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One evening M enjoyed his lamb & prune tagine so much he had two. I had started with the beautiful traditional soup - harira, made with veg, tomato, rice and lentils, beautifully thick and smooth, tasted similar to minestrone. I then had the kefta(meatballs) and egg tagine, yum yum.
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M & Casablanca relaxing
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A happy chappy with full tummy.
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  1. We were thinking of going to Morocco - when do you think is the best time to go and did you have any jabs before you went? The riad looks lovely.

  2. It looks like you both had a great time, Tracy. Your lovely photos take me back. I took Andy there as a surprise for his birthday 18 months ago. I absolutely loved it (think he did too!), came back laden with gorgeous slippers and the like. The only problem was the heat. We went late June and it was 40 degrees, way too hot, I'd love to go back when it's a bit cooler!
    Hen x

  3. Hi, We spent just a day in Casablanca in 2009. Amazing place, unique odour around the docks and such friendly people. thanks for sharing your pics.
    Lesley X

  4. Wonderful photo's it looks so alive and colourful. Makes me want to go right now i can just imagin the hustle and bustle at night,and the delicious smells from the food cooking, dee x

  5. looks lovely and warm -20 here Brrrrr
    Look at my blog for latest Marriott.

  6. Hi there
    It was lovely weather, we were lucky as Jan - April is supposed to be rainy season, I wore a light cardy but by mid morning were happy in shirts, the afternoons were hot enough to catch a tan whilst laying on the roof, if you are thinking of going I wouldn't do a week, or do 2 or 3 centre stops. As Hen said it can get extrememly hot in summer.
    The comment about "Marriott", refers to our family name which I have in common with fellow expat blogger fabriquefantastique.

  7. Lovely photos Tracey! So glad M didn't starve!! ;-)

  8. It looks fab! Thank you for sharing! Lizzie xx PS only just thawing out after Shepton, see you at Honiton!!!

  9. Everywhere I turn the world is trying to tell me something! I'd love, LOVE, to go to Marrakech one day - now you are the 3rd person I know who has been/is going there! I'm all green with envy, that's for sure.... One day, one day ....
    I love the blog header by the way - Morrocan tiles?
    Lovely trip and lovely photos - thank you for taking us 'along' :-)
    D x