Moroccan honeymoon – part 1

Mark and I got married! Although Mark and I need pots and pans, dishes and duvets, we decided not to register for all that stuff. It’s just stuff – where’s the fun in that? Instead we asked for contributions towards our Moroccan honeymoon. And that’s just what we got! This post is to take us back to our good ol’ blogging/wandering days and to say thank you to everyone who supported our Moroccan honeymoon. It was unforgettable.

Morocco Take II did not disappoint. We weren’t sure how it would hold up. Our memories held up Morocco as a magical place, filled with wonder and adventure. Would it still be the same after all the other wondrous places we visited post-Morocco? Would Marrakech still be our number one destination? Well I’m here to tell you it did not disappoint. It was as good as we remembered it. It made for our idea of a perfect honeymoon. Here, let me tell you about it:

We flew Air Transat direct from Ottawa to London. Waited a few hours and hopped on another plane, BA to Marrakech. (Wait, what’s that? We flew? What about slow travel/clean air/wandering/etc? Alas, now that we’re back to living the North American lifestyle, flying was our best option. We simply could not get afford the time as much as we would have liked to.) Mark pre-arranged to have a car meet us at the airport. The driver was there waiting for us with a ‘Rosen’ sign. Easy peasy lemon squeezy – we were off to Riad Carina – my most favourite place in the world.

It was exactly as we’d remembered it. Even the reserved hosts and hostesses we remembered. First thing we did was head up to the rooftop terrace with a Biere Speciale to basque in the sun after a long journey and greet our old friends – the storks. With the wedding whirlwind behind us, we weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. A fantastic feeling. we had a moment. We sat on that rooftop for a very long time. Until our tummies started to grumble whence we proceeded to dinner at La Tangia. Two tagines – a chicken with preserved lemon and olives and a lamb with prunes. Delectable. We were entertained by three belly dancers. Two very talented younger ones and one old ugly one balancing candles on her head. A nice evening indeed.

We had five nights in Marrakech. Most were spent relaxing at our Riad, eating at various restaurants around the city and getting completely pampered at Les Bains de Marrakech. We went for ‘touristy’ hammams this time. Quelle difference. They don’t scrub you anywhere near as hard which makes for a very pleasant experience and leaves most of your skin intact. We also had massages which were by far and away the best massages I’ve ever had. Complete relaxation. Complete awesomeness. We had to go twice. Just had to. Mark would have gone every single day if I’d let him.

Marrakech is a wonderful place, but it wears on you after a few days. I’d say 3 or 4 nights is the most you’d want to spend in this city. Considering we’d already been and done all the touristy things, after night 5 we were very ready to leave. Next stop: La Pause.

La Pause was our splurge. We’ve wanted to go ever since I stumbled across their website a couple years ago. It’s a tiny resort built around a private desert oasis less than an hours drive from Marrakech. We would never have dreamed about staying at La Pause when we were in Morocco before. It’s not cheap. But this was our honeymoon. We were here to do all the things we wish we could have done before. And to do them in style. Ya! So we hired another private car to take us there. An SUV is required. Our driver turned off the main road and into what was essentially just desert –no road to speak of. He just drove, as though he had some homing beacon or were using the earth’s magnetic field to natigate us to our oasis. He must have been there before. We drove past a couple other oases with tiny villages tucked around them before we reached ours. Just a few trees and grass sprouting from a ravine that had a wee trickle of water running through it. Again, a lot of hype – would it meet our expectations?

Again, the answer is yes. It just so happened that we were the only ones staying at La Pause for both nigths we were there. We had the whole place to ourselves. It was nice. A few more people would have added to the atmosphere, but we’re not about to complain. We had a private little bunk house overlooking the ravine. It was beautiful. We spent our time at La Pause hanging out by the pool, chowing down on beautiful food made with all local ingredients and olive oil they make themselves, walking the resident dogs, riding on camels and horses, golfing (yes, desert golf), reading books and taking naps.

This is the kind of place where a day feels like a week. Time slows down. There is no electricity. You judge time based on the call to prayer audible from the distant neighbours. The network of paths connecting the various areas of the resort are lit up by twinkling lanterns reflecting the night sky. It’s very peaceful. It really is…except for when the dogs start barking starting at 1 am and repeating every hour until dawn. And except when you have this eery feeling as though you’re being bitten by some unseen creepy crawler in your sleep. Yes, yes it’s true. At this very upscale establishment, on my honeymoon, I encountered my all-time most hated, evil, nightmare-inducing pests – bed bugs. I didn’t fully realize I was attacked until after we left. Which is probably a good thing because I definitely would not have been able to sleep. Just when I thought it was safe to leave my sleep sheet behind. Goes to show: bed bugs do not discriminate. Actually, bedbugs I learned are endemic to the desert. So next time you go to a desert, word of advice: bring a sleep sheet.

Comments

    Hi Meghan,

    We met at Fifty; after which Sarah passed along your blog, and I’m so glad she did. It’s great! Your travels around the world are very inspiring!

    Have you ever read Esther Freud’s ‘Hideous Kinky’? It’s set in Morocco, and seems to give a nice impression/description of life there. (Not that I know really, I’ve only been to Tangiers, and then only briefly.) Anyway, I don’t generally make book recommendations to people I’ve only met once, but I enjoyed it and perhaps you might as well.

    Hi Meghan,

    My fiance and I are also considering Morocco for our honeymoon in October- lets just say I’m anxiously awaiting your part 2 of this post :)

    Any insights you can provide would be great- your trip looks AMAZING.

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