How wonderful it is to start the day in a leisurely slow way…
We woke up in Palais Saguia, on the outskirts of Taroudant, late in the morning.
We had breakfast at 10AM, as we did every day while exploring Morocco.
This gives us ample time to plan our day, catch up on our emails and journal entries, as well as organize our thoughts and welcome the day in a pleasant and unhurried way.
We sat by the pool under the multi colored Bougainvillea vines, and drank our teas.
We drove into Taroudant, where we parked inside the Medina, and went for a long walk.
We entered some old Souks, that displayed a large selection of crafts and traditional clothing.
We intended to buy as a memory, the pointy leather slip-on shoes that most Moroccans wear.
The few times I’ve tried them on, they were extremely uncomfortable and badly made, even though the prices were high, and the merchants said they were of high quality.
It was obvious to me that they were made for the tourists and that nobody truly wore them.
This time in the Grand Souk of Taroudant, it was obvious that ONLY locals bought these shoes and they were comfortable, but a bit slippery with their polished leather soles.
The merchant told us that we needed to glue on a rubber sole and that one of the stalls down the lane will do it for 20 Dirhams per pair. ($3)
We tried on and bought a few pairs.
Now we have house slippers as a memory of our trip to Morocco.
Jules bought a yellow pair, and I bought a yellow pair and a cream leather pair carved with a pattern.
The stroll around the city of Taroudant was surprisingly pleasant.
The Medina is walled in and surrounded with five kilometers of fortified walls.
There were horse drawn carriages and more bicycles than I saw anywhere else in Morocco.
The air was not as polluted as some other busy Medinas, and besides needing to get out of the way of other walkers and cyclists, the stroll was extremely enjoyable.
The city had a pleasant laid back feeling, with friendly people, non pushy merchants and many interesting streets and markets to explore.
After our large breakfast, we did not intend to eat lunch, but while in the souk, we stopped to buy some bottled water.
The friendly kiosk owner offered us a glass and a place to sit.
Jules said he felt peckish, so we bought two fresh baguettes with cheese in them.
The owner charged us 4 Dirhams for this tasty lunch. (50 cents)
It always feels nice and we feel grateful when in Morocco we are charged the regular locals’ prices.
More regularly in the bigger cities, because we are tourists, we were charged anything the proprietor wanted… And so you have to resort to asking for the prices ahead.
It is much more relaxed and friendly not to inquire after the price, but to trust that you will be charged the regular amount and to see it happen.
At sunset, the walls and buildings of the city were bathed in a golden light.
It is beautiful to see the effect of the sun on the surface of the buildings…..
They seem to shimmer and glow, as birds gather on the trees to sing for the twilight, that signifies the end of the day…
After the sunset, we drove back to our hotel for another fantastic dinner.
While our food was being prepared, we sat in the comfy living room and had some red wine and olives.
The dinner included a vegetable soup- one of the BEST soups we had in a long time.
It followed by an aromatic Tajine and a cauliflower gratin.
I wish I had some room to taste some of the homemade Moroccan pastries that Malika made, but I was just too full…
Tomorrow we drive through the Anti Atlas Mountains ( the smaller Atlas mountains) all the way to Tafraoute.
The Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco, as well as the nearby High Atlas mountains that we crossed to get here, were created by the prolonged collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, beginning about 80 million years ago.
Massive sandstone and limestone layers have been crumpled and uplifted more than 4,000 meters in the High Atlas and to lower elevations in the Anti-Atlas.
Judging by the perfect blue sky that we had today, I am expecting a lovely ride through the Mountains tomorrow.