I have finally returned to the motherland!
Okay, Morocco is not the motherland that my ancestors hail from, according to the DNA test results, but I’m most definitely on African soil, so that has to count for something, right? We touched down in Marrakesh and I was completely blown away by both it’s beauty and chaos. From all of my reading up on the country, I believed I had a good idea of what to expect, but it’s greater than anything I imagined. There’s a constant give and take of that which is alluring and that which is complete confusion. Take for example the road leading us away from the airport, it was packed with cars and mopeds taking matters into their own hands, but if you looked a bit harder you would see that very same road was lined with rose bushes that had the biggest and prettiest blooms that I’ve ever seen. And that is Marrakesh at it’s core, a gorgeous display of disorder.
As we wove our way through the city and slipped into the medina, I was absolutely captivated. I watched intently as the cars, mopeds and pedestrians moved around each other, each focused on there own direction, forgetting about the rules in place to protect them. Cars would rear up on school-aged children as scooters would dart out in front of cars without so much as a look. And poor little me, I couldn’t help but hold my breath and prepare for the impending collision. What we would deem a certified cluster, magically works here. There were no collisions. No sweet old ladies being taken out by two wheels or four for that matter. Here, everyone makes it out alive.
Inside the medina, we are met by the riad manager, Paschale. She’s a wonderful French woman who I can tell is a person who lives to see the world. I absolutely adore her spirit. She leads us down the alley, pointing out the street art that will serve as our reminder that we are at our temporary home. Et voila, Riad Soundouss! She opened the door to our private sanctuary. Shut out from the outside, the riad was a peaceful escape. Inside, the air was perfumed with roses, you could hear birds chirping and the soft sound of a bubbling fountain. The hustle from the medina was no longer there, just two tall orange trees, cedar carved wood, intricate tile work and hand painted ceilings. It was my taste of heaven on earth. And in those first few moments, as David and I sipped mint tea on the terrace, I had a feeling that Marrakesh would be one of those cities that I fall deeply in love with.