Our trip to Marrakesh
11-14 March 2005
After a 1 ½ hour car trip from Geneva to Lyon France we board a low cost Moroccan airline called Atlas Blue (very nice new 737 jets). Then 2 ½ hours later we arrive at Marrakesh airport. Marrakesh is about 100 miles from the Atlantic coast and some 300 miles south of the Gibraltar strait, at latitude 31 degrees North (about same as Cairo, New Orleans and San Diego). What a change!
After 2 months of cold and snow we arrive in a nice warm place, grab a ‘small’ bargain priced taxi to the Club Med Palmarais. Wow! The palmarais is like a palm forest, which grew over many thousands of years.
The Marrakesh Palmarais was a reserved ‘royal park’ for hundreds of years and contained over 150’000 palm trees (mainly palm-date trees). Underground \water was made abundant by the snow melt from the nearby Atlas mountains. And irrigation techniques refined during the ‘Islam renaissance’ (while Europe was still in the dark ages) helped spur palace building and park growing. As civilizations grow and fall, so did the underground water supply, and a few years ago the government decided to sell off parts of the palmerais.
So Club Med bought a huge chunk, built 11 tennis courts, a golf course, a huge pool and an arabic-like ‘village’ for 600 tourists.
This is the golf driving range:
Buffet areas…all well organized with a fabulous choice of dishes and wines. Delicious fresh OJ for breakfast!
Dining amid the orange and olive trees...
Horse carriage ride to a restaurant one evening.
Just the appetizers… before four more courses and the belly dancer!
A ‘riad’ or ‘mansion’ turned into an Islam museum/school
A view of the main square and entrance to the ‘souks’.
Probably the biggest shopping mall on earth …about 20 sq kilometers or 10 sq miles and 50’000 shops – just my guess.
The tanning ‘vats’… good thing we had fresh mint leaves to mask the smell.
Lots of stands from vegetables to pots and more...
The Atlas mountains just 45 Km away...(highest peak is over 4000m) seen from the rooftop-terrace of one of the shops.
And last but not least, the Mosque…
Marrakesh: Lots of nice people and a great place. Simply Wow.
Oh, I almost forgot , one more thing …we also were here….. ….in 1970! (good thing we are no longer so bony)