ISSUE 19, October 2006
Editorial
Historic: Rabbi and Mason
Travel: Morocco's exotic charm
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Working with Youngsters: The Grand Master goes fishing
Community Relations: Saying it with flowers
International: Spanish Freemasonry under the microscope
   Events: Grand Lodge Award; Royal Masonic Variety Show
Specialist Lodges: Masonry on the canal
Freemasonry and Society: A Churchman's view of Masonry
Education: Toast of the town and Events
Young Masons: The Universities Scheme
Library & Museum: The Freemasons's Tontine
Masonic Charities: The Grand Charity and NMSF and RMTGB and RMBI
Letters
Book reviews
Gardening

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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 the background.
    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 good buy.
    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

Heathrow Express: 0845 600 1515. www.heathrowexpress.com
Gatwick Express: 0845 850 1530. www.gatwickexpress.com



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