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Back on the Road…

November 29, 2021

But not exactly the way I planned. I arrived in Marrakech yesterday, two days ahead of a group of fellow photographer travelers, ready for a couple of weeks of adventure in this corner of Morocco. Within an hour of my arrival, the Moroccan government announced it would close its borders to all foreigners for two weeks, effective at midnight. That meant that all of my fellow travelers — including the group leader, who was wrapping up a trip to Tanzania and joining us in two days’ time — were locked out of the country.

So here I am, by myself but not alone at Dar el Cigognes, a lovely riad in the old medina. My hostess, Hayat, couldn’t be more gracious and has treated me like a queen, from the welcoming mint tea to assuring me she and her staff are committed to my every comfort. There were even rose petals strewn on the bed and in the bathroom!

The rooftop terrace was the perfect spot to have dinner, starting with harira (Moroccan soup) consisting of chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes and broken pasta in a rich savory broth scented with spices. To follow, fish tagine, complemented with silken red, yellow and green peppers, potatoes and olives. Finishing it all off was the perfectly tart, not too sweet, lemon tart.

The tiled floors and stone walls make the riad chilly at night, so I was shivering went I got ready for bed. To my delight, the staff had placed a heater in my room and a hot water bottle in my bed — heaven!

This morning it was pretty cold outside, so I slept in and went back up to the roof for an enormous breakfast: beautiful fruit, including grenadine berries, a first for me; various local breads, a pancake, scrambled eggs, yogurt — I’m embarrassed to confess how much I ate, so I’ll just show you the fruit!

After breakfast I ventured out through Jamaa el Fna, the center square of the old medina, which is encircled by shops and restaurants. At the far end I met Zachariah, a spice seller, who took me on a tour of his wares and offered me a glass of delicious Berber tea. Bahia Palace was just around the corner. More on that later — it’s bedtime.

  1. Patty permalink

    My gosh, what an adventure. How long will you stay?

  2. Cheri Anderson permalink

    Thanks for the post complete with photos, Diana! How I wish we were all together! At least I can travel vicariously through your posts. If you get a chance go to the rooftop bar on the medina square for a bird’s eye view of the whole plaza. I think is the name of the place is Le grand balcon du Cafe Glacier. I thought it’s worth the cost of admission- a drink with a cover charge.

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