Day 1: Gatwick to MarrakeshNovember 28, 2018 in Morocco ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C
For many years Morocco has been an attraction for me, with it being the nearest country outside Europe to Britain. Lying just a handful of miles across from Spain, its dominant Muslim culture contrasts dramatically with those of our own continent. There are now two official languages, Arabic and Berber, while as a legacy of Colonial times, French is spoken quite widely. Its rich history going back at least to Roman times, relative stability compared with much of the Middle East, and its pleasant climate make it difficult not to like. Needless to say, my passport has a healthy helping of Moroccan stamps!
Easyjet runs two daily flights to Marrakesh and in late November, at the bargain return rate of less than £100. This passes without incident and after the first of several differences of opinion with taxi drivers, I am indoors in the Ville Nouvelle by 10 p.m.-ish.
Some landfalls are good but this isn't one of them. Night-time arrivals often have a frisson about them. My body clock hasn't quite adjusted to the one hour time difference and I lie awake while somebody who seems to have forgotten their room number tries to get into my room. A mosquito however succeeds in doing so and it's only after some handclaps worthy of a Gospel choir that it becomes an ex-mosquito. Oh well, it's not as bad a landfall as one I once made when after landing at Casablanca, I decided to take the 4 hour bus to Marrakesh, where a "faux guide" led me to a dodgy hotel in the "medina" (ancient quarter of the city) and fed me to the bedbugs. Things will get better; I can look forward to a room with a view, come morning.Read more