In Morocco outside the walls of luxurious hotels hiding the old mosque and bustling markets near branded boutiques sell buckets of olives, and adult married women in hijabs go in colorful helmets on mopeds. I plunged into this amazing world, look, how to make argan oil, tagines tried and tried on grandma’s (it is the national Moroccan shoes that the rest of the world has long called mules), drinking local mint tea and spent a few days in one of the best hotels in Mövenpick Hotel Marrakech Mansour Eddahbi.
In Morocco we went during Ramadan – is the ninth and most honorable month of the Muslim calendar, which involves complete abstinence from food, water and intimate relations in the daytime. And most Muslims at that time didn’t work, so we were met by a almost empty city.
Morocco is a Kingdom. Here the state controls the king and the government – the Prime Minister. But, unlike many European countries, the Moroccan king a real power – he has every right to dismiss the Prime Minister, to dissolve Parliament and call new elections. Since 1999, takes the throne, Mohammed VI is the first person in the history of the country, which in all Affairs of state consults with, what is important – the only – wife.
Live in the Kingdom, according to latest figures, about 34 million people. And most – almost in poverty.
The first stop of our tour was a five-day Marrakech is the fourth largest city after Casablanca, Rabat and Fes. We flew Royal Air Maroc (it is, incidentally, worthy airlines), and from Menara airport (there is a glass dome!) we went to the Mövenpick and after 15 minutes was in a huge five star hotel with four pools, Spa-center, gym, four restaurants and access to the Palais des congrès of Marrakech. In General, impressive.
Guests are met at the entrance of a huge cage with brass bird, small fountains, which quietly flows the water, and the chandelier in the form of a huge light bulb drops.
Mövenpick is reminiscent of the oasis in which to rest from the city and, of course, heat. “38 degrees is nothing – laughing locals. – Here we have here recently, it was 58…” needless to say that the first thing to throw into a suitcase if you are going to Morocco in the summer is sunscreen?
And for those who are in such a pit was not used, in the Medina (translated from the Moroccan – Old town) a night Bazaar. If you climb to the terrace of one of the many cafes, the view is fantastic – the little red lanterns illuminate the canopies of stalls with food, local people in colorful national costumes come here for fruit, and tourists – for a tiny shiny lamp of Aladdin (≈ 25 dh), colored babush (≈ 100 dh), colorful shawls (≈ 100 dh), huge bags of mint (≈ 20 dh), spices, argan oil, and painted clay plates (≈ 60 dh). Well, now count: one dirham is equal to 6 rubles, but all prices are approximate, because the Moroccans love to haggle. Suggest angry, waving his arms, going and coming, and to insist that to fly today, and in my purse, there were only 80 dirhams. Small trick: if the handkerchief is 100 dh, and you expect to buy it for $ 50 and tell the seller: “take 30”, and then do him a favor and raise your price is 20 dirhams.
There are luxury restaurants, for instance, Bo Zin (translated from the French “Beau” and Moroccan “Zin” – “beautiful”). He is three and a half kilometers away from Marrakech and is hiding behind a wooden gate in the bamboo thickets. Incredible atmosphere: dim lights, white tents, candles, a huge porch and very (very!) delicious food. We strongly recommend to try the “Asian set” (260 dh) with chicken wok Thai noodles with squid and Jasmine rice and to wash it all down with a glass of grey wine (a kind of pink wine, but it is made by special technology with small amount of sediment). And definitely take home a couple of bottles from Duty Free (5€) – it is simply superb.
After a hearty and slightly drunken dinner (red wine instantly “give” in the head) we return to the hotel. Fortunately, the evening temperature does not rise above 24 degrees. Overnight Mövenpick looks especially beautiful: small bassanini reflect the light of the pink lamps, and the lobby lit only huge chandelier-drop.
The next morning we say goodbye to the hotel and drive to Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, city of avant-garde skyscrapers (they are, however, new York or even do not compare our – regular-rise).
The road from Marrakech is nearly 250 km and takes two and a half hours, but to do this path at least in order to see the Atlantic ocean and the Hassan II Mosque (one of the largest in the world!), which is it “one foot” – there during Ramadan get together and pray thousands of Muslims.
But the most vivid memory that we took away from Casablanca, and the finale of our program is not a giant mosque and hundreds of Arab men who read the Koran, and not the waves in the ocean of a human growth, but only the bar is Rick’s Cafe – an exact copy of the movie “Casablanca” 1942 (by the way, twist in a circle on the second floor of the bar). The portion size is striking to finish my steak or the banal “Caesar” will not be easy, but as here is delicious! And copper palms over the bar, dim lights, Moroccan rugs, oak furniture and quiet jazz playing here create a very Moroccan and warm atmosphere.
In General, to go in this country is at least in order to see the bustling markets of the Old town, drink a couple of cocktails in a picturesque bar, listen to the sound of the ocean, eat fresh Moroccan fruits, to spend a few days in Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi. And, trust us, this vacation, body and soul will be unforgettable!