In the Medina; Morroco
21.03.2007 30 °C
Theres one place in London where the sun is always shining; above the clouds.
The cold, damp and depressing Gatwick Airport sitting many thousands of metres below me quickly faded from my mind as I opened the lonely planet guide to Morocco and began to rummage through the pages working out what my plans were going to be when I hopped off the plane in this Arabic / African country on the other side of the world.
My plans were all thrown out the window when upon leaving the airport; Catherine ( a british girl ) and I shared a taxi to Marrakesh's central medina; "Djemaa el-Fina and she convinced le to spend the night in Marrakesh and enjoy the souqs, snakes and cullinary delights.
I had my first real Morrocan experience 10 minutes after leaving the airport, when in the heat of an argument over which taxi was going to fit my surfboard and how much it was going to cost, my wallet and sunglasses were all pinched loosing around 400 Dh; $60 (AUS) which was a chap way to learn an important Marrakeshi lesson; watch your stuff.
Hotel CTM was our accomodation of choice qnd for 80 Dh; $11 (AUS) a night we werne't expecting much. The appeal however was not the so called shower or extreme luxury item of a flushing toilet. But the location; with a rooftop balcony over-looking the Djema el-Fina with it's hundreds of food stalls selling seafood, salads, kebabs and cous cous.
Bongo players, snake charmers, story tellers and fortune tellers it truley is a world of it's own.
The calamari, tomato salad, olives, bread and dips was my pick washed down with a glass of mint tea will set you back around 30 Dh or $4 (AUS).
The fashionably poured mint tea is Lorroco's answer to Starbucks and serves as a great way to soak up the heat and laze away the afternoon.
When you come to Morocco, expect to be hassled, because you will be. For anything from the price of a taxi to a freshly squeezed orange juice, the vibe is fast paced and all about the business. With the sun setting over the medina and the smells of seafood all around I was stoked to be in an arabic country on the other side of the world in th ecolourful and buzzing city that is Marrakesh.
That night we chilled on our hotel roof terrace soaking in the moment and the craziness of the past 7 hours; whilst staring out on to the lit up food stalls filling up the Medina.
Garrett in Marrakesh; Morocco.