Have you been Marrakeshed? Part 2
In part 1 of ’Have you been Marrakeshed’ I wrote that waking to what could have been the irritating sound of the muezzin’s call to worship from the neighbouring mosque I had decided to abandon all my senses to the magic of Marrakesh.
That decision resulted in a prolonged stay in one of Morocco’s most mesmerizing palaces.
To this day, I’m still not sure whether I willingly accepted to be taken to his home or whether I was in fact abducted with the intent to have me produce hundreds of male heirs to my Moroccan Prince Charming.
When you and I spend a long Winter’s night sipping a good Champagne wine by a cosy fireplace I might share the details of the fairy tale I lived for those few weeks. Even without making you blush at the sound of my extraordinary stories you can trust me when I tell you that at no time before - nor after this adventure - have I felt so alive.
For Western visitors like us, a few days do not suffice to fully immerse ourselves in the magic of the Orient. The first few days can in fact be a little nerve-racking as Moroccans have a way, even if quite charming, to not let the cold truth get in the way of a good story. As a respectful guest for example, one doesn’t quite know how to react to their non-committal relationship to time-keeping and you will find yourself waiting for things and people for a considerably longer time than what was promised with a huge warm smile, a hand-shake and even a hug.
What any visitor to Marrakesh should bear in mind is that Moroccans have a lot of things on their side that will make you chill the hell out after those critical first few days. We were there for the Vinterferie and found it really hard to leave once we had slowed down.
I don’t mean to sound like a cheap real-estate brochure, but something as basic as the Sun and its collateral benefits has a HUGE effect on our North European moods. Of course there are now thousands of sun-kissed destinations from Norway but what will keep me going to Marrakesh is how the natural beauty of its location: a palm grove in the middle of the desert looking onto the nearby snow tops of the majestic Atlas Mountains, the genuine kindness of the local population, their utterly delicious cuisine, their thousand-year old craftsmanship has attracted many quality conscious people from Europe who - through small-scale projects - have made it possible for local craftsmen and women to proudly continue creating beautifully-made things. The historical bond with France is still very much alive and chic Parisian women are prepared to pay the price for clothes, accessories and interior objects they can trace back to Marrakesh artisans.
My stay in Marrakesh is one of the adventures in my life that has most inspired me. Inspired me to take time, to be aware of how certain things will more or less stimulate my senses. These unforgettable moments, these strong human connections have helped me make my choices count. I confess always having been a bit of a thrill-seeker but as I get older I am actually aware of that trait and, even if more responsibly, I still look for the more meaningful things and connections that magnify the beauty of this short human experience of ours.
Oh, by the way, for those who are still following: It was the red silk on his four-poster bed that just wouldn’t do it.