Our final destination, La Gazelle d’Or, is within walking
distance of the terracotta-coloured walls of the medieval city
of Taroudant, just over an hour’s drive from the beach resort
of Agadir. Accommodation is in a ‘cottage’, more of a
spacious villa which has its own terrace with brightly coloured
bougainvillea growing over it.
Breakfast is served here, and I am visited by the resident
Golden Retriever who settles at my feet. Birds twitter on the
branches, and several come to pick up the crumbs. Dining
on the terrace of the restaurant by candlelight is incredibly
romantic, particularly as the resident crooner is singing in
Privacy, relaxation and pampering are exactly what the
place is all about, and everything is done to encourage this.
Our little enclave looked out on an enormous lawn area, with
horses tethered in the distance. As well as a swimming pool,
the grounds contain an organic farm which we were
encouraged to walk around.
All the places where we stayed have their own hammams –
hot steam rooms. Not only is this good for your skin, but
depending on the treatments on offer, is generally followed
by a rubdown or massage by a masseur.
Bartering is considered part of the culture, particularly in
the numerous souks and markets, and constitutes a lot of the
fun of purchasing local products. Wherever you go there are
stalls laden with mounds of coloured spices – turmeric, cumin
and cinnamon, with strands of saffron being a particularly
Apparently, until quite recently, driving licences were
a commodity that could be bought, and so the Highway
Code is not always adhered to. Hiring a car is not to be
recommended in the towns unless you are really brave.
Fortunately, out of town you are more likely to come
across donkeys carrying their wares than another vehicle.
Prices vary considerably when taking a taxi, so it is essential
to negotiate the price before getting in. Great fun is taking
a horse-drawn carriage in Marrakech, with prices on a par
with those of a taxi.
Although Morocco is a Muslim country, it is
geographically well away from the current troubles of the
Middle East. Speaking French and or Arabic is definitely
an asset, although English is spoken to a varying degree.
Wherever you go
there are stalls
laden with mounds
of coloured spices
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