Step into the medina: life as it was hundreds of years ago, blended with a stylish touch of now. On this program, we explore Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains and the whitewashed port city of Essaouira. We wander through aromatherapy gardens, bake traditional bread in clay ovens, learn about argan oil and the medicinal properties of herbs and spices. We use mules for transportation in the mountains, pass our hands over the weave of brilliant textiles and rugs, hike to villages and sometimes cross shallow streams with a helpful hand. Taking Berber culture seriously, we encounter Morocco’s everyday living.
In Essaouira, we travel back roads and stay near the sea, lit only by candles for one night. We reach a wilder part of ourselves that is still alive, commune with a blanket of stars so dense you might think you are seeing double. Spontaneously, music erupts and equally spontaneously, we find ourselves dancing. We dine on grilled fish and zaluk, eggplant and tomato spread for bread and other seaside specialties. Dropping out of the everyday and into the wisdom of the past, we become more tuned to our own heartbeats and to the mystery of each moment.
Inspiration: Mystery. Earth tones. Terracotta cookware. Textures and textiles. Our friendship with private guest house Jnane Tamsna and their ethnobotanical gardens. The genuine hospitality of our Berber hosts in the mountains and their sense of humor. Palm trees with the snow-capped Atlas in the distance. Riding camels on the beach. Living a stylish life in nature.
From my journal…
What structure could be more charming than a Riad? A 2-story square within a square with bedrooms and verandas looking onto a central open-air courtyard, usually with fruit trees, a small pool or a fountain. This architectural design is ingenious for creating space and breath, and yet gives a sense of privacy and being held. There’s an atmosphere of calm and enchantment. A possibility of endless cups of tea and inspiration. A place to daydream by day, and by candlelight at night. It invites you to get lost in thought, or no thought and have deep conversations, or do whatever you love to do. It’s a place of refuge and gives permission for your quieter voices to be heard.
Do you know the poet Rumi? Have you wondered what is a Tagine really and why they have them all over the country? Why all the hype about Marrakech? Is it safe? Is it true that you can see palm trees in front of the snow capped Atlas Mountains? Do we go there and to the sea within a few hours?