Marrakech, Morocco, Africa
Our second day in Marrakech didn’t get off to the best start. We were planning on going on a half day camel trek, which was booked and paid for a couple months ago. The tour guide showed up at 9am, picked us up and we went off in the van with a couple of other French people. We went to a very dodgy crossroads and waited for about 10 minutes. No other guests came, so the driver got back in the van and we proceeded back to OUR hotel. Another tour guide came out and told us that we weren’t actually booked on this camel trek and we had to get off the van. So that was a tremendous waste of an hour! We called STA Travel who had booked the excursion for us, and it turned out there had been a mishap and we were rescheduled for Tuesday morning instead.
So since we now had a day off, we decided to go for a walk through the city. We found the main square where the souk is set up and had a look through some of the stalls. They were mostly selling junk and everyone tried to pressure us into buying anything they had, but we managed to get out without any damage to our wallets. We walked around in the blistering heat 106*F (42*C) for a couple hours before retiring to our hotel for the rest of the day. We laid by the pool, had lunch at the hotel and just chilled for most of the afternoon.
Then our dinner adventure started! We had booked a table at Le Foundouk on a recommendation by my friend Jill. We had to get a taxi, but there were none outside of our hotel so we started walking down the street to get one. We found that police and military guys were barracading the road that our hotel is on, and we couldn’t see any reason why. It was all a bit unnerving, but we carried on until we found a cab. Le Foundouk’s website said to be dropped off at Le Moukef (a souk), so we assumed the restaurant would be visible from the dropoff spot. We couldn’t have been more wrong. When our taxi pulled up to Le Moukef a boy aged about 17 came and asked if we were for Le Foundouk. We said yes, and he was ready to show us the way. About 10 seconds later, the actual porter for Le Foundouk came over, and warned the kid to stop trying to mislead his customers. Apparently this is a very normal scam where the kids will mislead you to somewhere you don’t know, and then charge you a ridiculous amount of money to bring you back to where you started. Luckily for us, we avoided that!
The dinner ended up being absolutely amazing! We both had local Casablanca beers and tagines. My chicken tagine with grapes and onions was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I’m not sure how much Lynne and I were able to enjoy the meals completely, because we were both a bit worried about how we were going to get home. It ended up being quite easy to get back to the hotel. The restaurant porter found us a taxi and brought us back to our still baracaded road. It turns out our hotel is right next to a football (soccer) stadium and there was a match on. The block off the roads to try to keep the hooligans away. Thank god that night is over! Let’s hope tomorrow starts off better than today did…