Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My love affair with Morocco!

Morocco continues to beckon us bloggers and I am no exception! This is not my first and I guarantee, it will not be my last post on this exotic country! The rich colors, the blue sky, the ochre-colored sand and red-tinged mountains, the hospitality, the clamor of the fish markets and the silence of the inner courtyards all continue to hold their spell on us. And of all the cities, Marrakech seems to be the most fascinating! It is no secret that Marrakech is shopping heaven – crafts of every kind are there for the bartering in this timewarp city, almost unchanged for the last four hundred years - superb ethnic jewellery, rugs, spices, leathergoods, metalwork, camphor wood backgammon and chess sets, bizarre musical instruments, hubble bubbles, truly vile perfumes, dried hedgehogs – you’ll find them all in the souks. You can be pampered, have a massage, visit a hammam if you are brave, wander Yves St. Laurent’s fabulous garden, eat out in Djemaa el Fna for pennies, explore quaint museums and magnificent ruins, hire a car and be driven to the mountains or the sea, or just relax in this quiet hidden haven in the heart of the old Medina

Westerners are enthralled by Morocco all and more and more of them vacationing there have succumbed to its charms. Take writer Miranda Innes, who renovated a large, 200-year-old riad in 2001 and called it Riad Maizie! This is what she says about it...."I did not mean to buy a palace. I was on a routine shopping trip in Marrakech's medina with writer Maggie Perry when we passed the estate agent from which she bought her town house, or riad. I suggested we might just have a look. Once through those heavy wooden doors there was no going back and a serious shopping moment later, I was the stunned owner of a 19th century riad. Well, it was not quite so instantaneous, but it was a definite case of love at first sight."  Six months and $94,000 later she proudly opened Riad Maizie! The whole drama filled process is described in her book "Cinnamon City".

My short 3 day stay in Tangiers in the spring of 2008 convinced me that I have to go back for a longer stay and vist more of Morocco. That day cannot come soon enough and when it does come, I want to stay at the Riad Maizie. It is not one of those horrendously outrageously expensive places to stay, its very affordable, but every inch of every surface is embellished - the house is a sampler of traditional Marakchi decoration techniques, with tadelakt, mousharabi, Gibb’s frieze, doors painted in traditional Arabic and Berber style, intricately painted wooden ceilings and zellig fessi. Wherever possible they have retained the quirky hand-made original features – huge double doors with massive bolts, carved wooden shutters and elaborate wrought metal grilles. Prints and paintings adorn the walls, and an array of gorgeous locally-made rugs decorate the cool, tiled floors. The heavy cedar front door opens into a plant-filled courtyard with two fountains prettily carpeted with rose petals.










So if you ever go to Marrakech, this is how you get to Riad Maizie!

10 comments:

Bhavna said...

Pretteh! Love the hand drawn map too!

GB said...

Oh Kamini, now you've given me something new to lust after............. :)

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

I am ready for my vacation!!

PreeOccupied said...

This is one place on top of my dream destination. Do you have a Morocco tea pot?

Kamini said...

Pree...I do have a Moroccan tea pot, a silver one with glasses for mint tea, but I bought it in Granada, not Morocco!I did however get a tagine at the market in Tangiers and have used it to make cous cous!

Patricia Torres said...

My bags are packed... Im going to Morocco for sure now... I love that lamp on top.. You've done this on purpose.. isnt it???

Loved the walls of all the bedrooms.. I want a wall like that too.... I want a room like that.. I want to be in Morocco... *sigh*

OH.. and I love that map.. awesome!!

Once Upon A Tea Time said...

I haven't been to Morocco yet but it's definitely on my list of dream destinations. I really enjoyed reading this post!

krithika said...

Kamini, I just love your blog....you come up with such lovely ideas to blog about....I guess you may inspire me to start my own blog in the future !!
cheers Krithika

Kamini said...

Thanks all for you comments and yes, if you have not visited Morocco, it is a MUST in your lifetime! Patty...yes, that lamp on top was for you ;-)! Sadly I only spent 3 short days fabulous in Tangiers,would absolutely love to go to Marrakech and Casablanca!

Kamini said...

Krithika...thanks for that comment. Makes it all worthwhile when someone says that :-)