We were getting tired, wandering around and around the souks, so stopped for an early dinner at one of the restaurants alongside the big square. Went up and sat on the terrace, watching the sun go down, and had a fabulous lemon chicken tagine. It was delicious, and well worth it! Eating and laughing.. overlooking the square and watching all the daytime stalls turn into nighttime stalls selling food… but we were too exhausted by that time to do anything but go back to the hotel. It was about 5:30pm. Don’t laugh! Those 3am starts really take it out of you.
Went back to the hotel and, although I was exhausted, i couldn’t really sleep, so challenged Christine to a game of Scrabble. Only when we started playing did we notice that it was a French game – and we noticed by having a few too many I’s and E’s to get rid of. There were some very interesting words in there, and we were playing for fun, not points. Then the dominoes came out! Went to bed at about 8pm, but couldn’t sleep so stayed up reading and finished my book.
Woke with the 6am call to prayer from the mosque around the corner, grumbled a bit, turned over and went back to sleep until a decent hour. Got up about 8-ish and went upstairs for breakfast on the terrace, which consisted of potato-ey scone-y thingys, little pikelet-esque blini thingys, cake and fresh juice. And, of course, the ubiquitous mint tea, which I love but Christine says tastes like toothpaste.
First thing after breakfast we headed off to the main street and picked up a taxi for the 10min drive to Jardin Marjorelle, the gardens owned by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner. Just owned, not created by him.. maintained by him. Containing buildings painted in the fab marjorelle blue.
I truly wasn’t that impressed with the gardens themselves – all cactai, palm and bamboo. Anyone who’s seen any halfway decent botanical gardens will be unimpressed with this, but there were some lovely specimens of palms and cactai – just not that interesting. The Jardin shop was incredibly expensive, as you can imagine, but nice to look at. On the whole spent about an hour in there… and the last 15mins was waiting for our taxi.
Our friendly taxi river then took us to The Berber Market, which, we think, waswhere they take al the tourists to spend their money. Think of a department store, a slightly more expensive one than normal. it carried everything – carpets, original wooden doors, Berber saddles, beads, jewellery, woodwork, brasswork, pottery and silver. All very nice, but all out of our price range, and a very sanitised shopping experience compared to the souks. For all their dramas the souks were fun… So we headed out in the general direction of the big square to get back to the souks.. Got dragged into stores on the way, ended up buying a lovely dragon ring, stirling silver with a chinese dragon on it, and about 3mm thick, so it won’t break. Love it! hard to take a photo of it, though.
Headed back to the big square to do some more searching and bartering – but stopped to have lovely couscous in another restaurant on the side of the square. It’s a brilliant place to watch the world go past.
Back in the souks and Christine found a lovely lapis beaded necklace that she bargained hard for, and I found a lovely silver teapot with feet that I bargained hard for!
Back to the hotel for a rest before heading out for dinner – we decided to eat from the stalls in the square tonight. Since we were leaving in the morning we’d risk the sickness, since we could be sick in our own beds at home. Found one doing shishkebabs & stuff. Now, if any germs can withstand the searing heat of that grill, they deserved to be able to infect me! Sat next to an aussie brother & sister on their gap year who were spending it doing Morocco, Spain and South of France – not coming to London at all! Unusual, but nice. More power to them. Got ripped off for dinner, charged way too much money, but the walk back was a challenge without the ‘road chaos’ gene. It’s even harder at night!
Back to the hotel, a few more games of dominoes, and Christine called for the shisha pipe. We bubbled away on the apple tobacco, beat each other at dominoes, and ordered a taxi for the morning. Fell into bed about 10-ish, I guess.
Up with the call to prayer again, moaned again, back to sleep again. Up in enough time to breakfast before our taxi was coming for us at 8:30. Back at the airport, had one of my final 3 cigarettes before boarding the plane. Christine’s son Paddy met us at the airport, and when I got home I had my last cigarette. Then I got sick. :)
I’m not kidding – I must have picked something up on the plane. The fever started, the nose started running & didn’t stop for 2 days. I rang boss to tell him I wouldn’t be in on Thurs and he told me to go to the doctor, as I’d just been in North Africa. Thought about it for a minute, then decided I should. All ok – just flu. Was signed off for the rest of the week, and the fever broke on Sat. And one thing about being sick, it kills the craving. So I’ve not had a cigarette since Fri 19 Jan.
Here ends our Moroccan adventure. But I have loads of fab things to show for it – my teapot on feet, 6 glasses to match and some mint tea, my slippers, my ring and a new silk-y scarf-y thing which is also lovely.
Have to go back to Morocco with the girls …