Written by Ed Jones
I wanted to go on a break away with the possibility of some winter sun, so I approached Christoper at cazenove+loyd. He recommended Morocco and in particular to travel to Marrakech. I also had a hunch that I wanted to propose to my girlfriend, Tamara, although she had no idea and I didn’t have a ring or any plans about the future. So I booked the trip to leave London with a week’s notice. All that was left to do was to tell Tamara to keep the weekend free and for me to find a ring.
I managed to keep everything hush-hush and Tamara only realised she was travelling to Marrakech at the airport. What’s truly remarkable is the fact that only a short flight of three hours results in the sensation that one is in an environment that could be mistaken for somewhere much further afield. Once we touched down and were on our way to our riad we realised that the city still relied on power from giant wood furnaces. The smells of burning timber and spices evoked a timeless feel but no sooner were we adjusting than we were approached by an inquisitive local. My Berber was limited but I got by with a bit of French and English. It would be fair to say that verbal exchanges or bartering involve a certain amount of personal space infringement but what we learnt was to smile and realise that everyone wants you to experience their culture as much as possible. It’s very different but really exciting. Our guide, Brian (or Brahim as I later realised), taught us to look for distinguishable features for navigation and this really helped when we explored on our own.