Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5





A trip to Morocco

Part 4: Seven journeys

At breakfast, I am counting. The smiling black girl moves to and fro. I count. One journey to clear our table. One journey to bring cups and saucers. One journey to bring cutlery. One journey to bring bread. One journey to bring tea. One journey to bring hot milk. One journey to bring butter and jam. Seven journeys. The Arab boy smiles and looks on. Earlier he told us he was eighteen. Is it illegal to work when you are twelve?

We take a taxi to the Saadian Tombs. The route is the same as for the Mamounia. We pass the same pink walls, enter by the same gate. We arrive at the Tombs. We enter a narrow alley beside the kasbah mosque. Today, exceptionally, it is free. The cash desk is open to tell us we don't have to pay.

We enter a garden. The tombs are unimpressive. They are aligned in the garden. The head (or is it the feet ?) points to Mecca. Strangely, a single tomb seems set at right angles to all the others. There are two buildings. People queue for a brief glimpse inside. The queue is long.

Someone ignores the queue, pushes past. Everybody tells him to go to the back. He feigns astonishment. All these people are in a queue! Who could imagine?

We arrive at the head. Our turn to look inside over the barrier. There is an elaborately tiled room. It has recesses with intricately patterned ceilings. The room is bare. It is dark inside. It is difficult to see into the adjoining rooms.

We go back into the street. We climb up to a nearby terrace cafe. It is called Nid de Cigogne. Opposite the terrace is a derelict chimney. On the chimney is a nest. In the nest is a bird. Sure enough it is a stork. We order mint tea. We are level with the nest.

From time to time, we see a newly hatched stork poke up its beak. We sip our tea. Another stork arrives. We watch the two storks together. They make a noise like a football rattle with their beaks. One stork leaves. The waitress tells us two eggs hatched about ten days before. Storks have been nesting there for over thirty years. It's a safe name for the cafe.

We walk about. We are taken on a quick tour of a riad called Bains de Marrakech. It is both a hotel and a hammam.

It would be nice to stay there. Or to take a bath. The hammam offers different kinds of massage: shiatsu, Thai massage. I take the brochure.

We walk to the city gate. It is impressive. There are small cannons nearby. We decide to lunch at Dar Mimoun. We are caught in the Friday crowd leaving the Kasbah Mosque.


We find a route that leads us into the right pink alley. Many camels are offered. Dar Mimoun is less impressive by day than by night. The food is always excellent. Afterwards, we visit the Dar Si Said museum. You know what it's like.

Picture Page: Ceilings

Part 5: Today the gates are open

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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