This past winter lasted a little too long for my taste. I was sick of the cold weather, the wind and the depressing, bare trees. When I complained about this to my dear friend Marjorelle, she came up with a plan that was as simple as it was sunny: we’ll go on a getaway! And what happens with all good plans, we both knew where we wanted to go. Marrakesh. After all, Marjorelle’s brother-in-law Guillaume has a riad there, one of those beautiful traditional Moroccan palaces with a patio full of native plants and palm trees.
Have you ever been to Marrakesh? Go! You won’t believe your eyes. Three-and-a-half hours by plane and you’ll find yourself in a fairytale city. One with hidden treasures in every corner.
Guillaume met us at the airport. Much to our hilarity, not by car but with a painted wooden wagon and two striped horses We sat on soft cushions and Guillaume under a blue-green parasol. Marjorelle felt the urge to wave as we made our way into town. I was sneezing, actually being allergic to horses.
Under the warm African sun, we rode to the world-famous square: Djemaa El Fna. The name says it all! It doesn’t get more exotic than that, does it? It was buzzing and abounding with activity and we were overwhelmed by all the colours, aromas and sounds. Cheerful orange stands, little eateries under coloured canvas, music in mysterious Arabic musical scales… And right in front of us, the screeching melody of a snake charmer’s flute and, in the distance, the yapping of a chihuahua. The air was filled with the scent of mint and sweet fruits, leather, herbs and barbecue.
The three of us made our way from the hot, noisy square into the souk. We found ourselves gazing at all the sellers – and they probably at us. We were served tea by a trader in hand-knotted rugs and woven baskets. The kind of tea that’s sweet with way too much sugar. Delicious. He poured it from a high into adorable little glasses. We asked him to sell them to us, but he refused. (Perhaps we should simply make them ourselves.) Marjorelle and I found it hard to leave a shop without any silver jewellery and filigree lamps that looked just like lace. Guillaume was shaking his head at us and was getting impatient. Muttering to himself, he led us out of the souk again. Via narrow, medieval passageways, he took us to a giant, austere wooden gate.
Marjorelle and I started to mumble, but then he pushed open the heavy door in front of us. We entered a beautiful inner courtyard with floor of glazed tiles which kept the patio cool and comfortable. The walls on both sides were a pinkish-red colour and there was a palm garden with a small pond and a fountain in the middle, where a pair of turtles were peacefully enjoying the light shining on the edge of the pond. Marjorelle and I couldn’t stop staring. But Guillaume sent us upstairs. We obediently followed him up the stairs and of course we were distracted on every floor.
Just look at those pictures! And those parakeets! A monkey!
Wait until you get to the top, said Guillaume. And he was right. The mosaic roof terrace, which had a colourfully set table and a sofa with soft cushions, offered endless views of the city. The sun was about to set. A servant, who could have just walked out of a thousand and one nights fairy tale, brought us couscous with fruit. We saw the distinct contours of towers and palm trees In the distance. Yes, the same ones as on my duvets.
Naturally, three days was not enough time. Marjorelle and I hardly slept. There was too much to discover and explore. Marrakesh is a city of a thousand and one ideas. But no one boasts about it. The loveliest spots are hidden behind thick walls and wooden doors. We wanted to see it all and experience it all. We got lost in the medina. And even in our own hotel. But Guillaume showed us the way every time. I think he was quite relieved to take us back to the airport after three days. But Marjorelle and I think back to Marrakesh daily. And the best part is, you can join us. Just have a look at the new collection. Enjoy!
Hugs and kisses from Pip