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Why take a Taxi from Marrakech Airport to Medina?
As a child I lived to read. I lived in my books and dreamt suitably exotic day-dreams, the most exciting of which was of a Morocco Adventure.
I walked through souks with huge clay pots (large enough for a genie of course) and stayed in a Marrakech Riad (although I didn’t know what they were back then) and rode a camel to a palm-lined oasis in the Sahara.
I didn’t dream of a Taxi from Marrakech Airport to Medina, but it was a suitably beat up and ancient Taxi to qualify as exotic.
Taxi from Marakech Airport to Medina
Fast forward fifty years and we’re leaving Marrakech Menara Airport with our taxi’s windows firmly down in a vain attempt to catch a cooling breeze. The Air-Conditioning was either not working or deemed unnecessary and as our driver had no English and us no Moroccan, we sweltered in silence and awe of the surroundings outside.
Our Morocco Adventure to Marrakech Riad Maizie
We’d pre-arranged the pick-up to our Marrakech Riad “Maizie” in Derb Al Qadi in the Azbest Quarter. It was a relief to be met at the airport and delivered to the door, albeit with some twists and turns.
The first was our driver abandoning the cab to ask directions (or chat) at a quasi taxi depot soon after entering the gates of the old city.
Eventually he returned and we continued on our way, stopping in a square – Ben Saleh Square, not the iconic Jemaa El Fna.
The next twist was watching our luggage piling out of the Taxi and into an ancient wooden cart, drawn by a man of the equal vintage.
Motioned to follow and we took off at a surprisingly sprightly speed in 40 degree heat.
My exact words to Marty were – Don’t lose that cart.
Leaving a chaotic mix of motorbikes, children, sheep, covered women, and vendors squatting with a few bunches to sell, adrenalin was pumping.
A hysterical laugh may have left my lips…
We were going where Taxis cannot go …
But Hand-Drawn Carts can and do…
In our derb everything was different – it was practically deserted – and quiet. Our man picked up the pace accordingly and we trotted left through a mini-square filled with young boys playing soccer with World Cup intensity.
Right, left, right, the corners blurred into a dark tunnel with a well positioned light, before emerging into the straight and to race to the end.
A featureless door opened in a featureless wall. My heart stopped and my tongue was quiet.
A door in the wall swung open… we stepped inside…
Arriving at Marrakech Riad Maizie – a Morocco Adventure
With the porter paid, we floated beneath the Mousharabi skylight to our room, the Doueria. I peeked first into the bathroom at a Cleopatra style Tadelakt bathtub and once in our suite, down through the Mousharabi screens, where tiny birds flittered, to the courtyard below.
It was our first and only time to have a calming tea poured from a tall beaten silver pot with the long curving spout and handle.
The Riad oozed Moroccan authenticity and a well-worn homely feel. This was no glamorous riad aimed at the tourist dollar, but a derelict home restored by artisans from the local Mosque.
Our arrival was a Morocco adventure in itself and I couldn’t wait to see if the rest of our Moroccan trip lived up to those long cherished daydreams from my childhood.
For now, a warm welcome, a refreshing shower and that comforting home away from home feeling was enough.
Our Morocco adventure had begun.
Riad Maizie, 95 Derb al Cadi, Azbezt
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