As-Salaam-Alaikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.



Friday, February 15, 2008

My guardian angel reincarnate

My guardian angel, I dont know what we would have done without him. In desperation about 3 months after arriving in Marrakech, i took it upon myself to go out on a land hunt. Marcus was totally fed up and rightly so after day upon day of looking at land, being told what he wanted to buy had actually sold a year ago etc etc. I've had enough he said one day! So in the car i got and headed off . I saw a key sign which means, moroccan men who know about land, so i jumped out the car with Fatima (my maid at the time, but actually sooo much more) and off Fatima went gabbling in arabic as i said to her: 2 hectares, small piste, trees etc etc. Up sauntered this beautiful man with a calm aura, he stood out a mile. What are you looking for and how can I help you he said in English! There in is the start of a beautiful story of a wonderful kind, spiritual, knowledgeable, conscience individual who i swear is infact my guardian angel!Now back to the riad, look what we have achieved. Look at the new floors going in! they will be laid with tadelakt next a lovely shiny natural plaster.
The wonderful Halid above at work, a member of the fabulous people tribe. Note also the freshly plastered walls. I am so pleased to see Halid and the new members of his tribe as we lost him for a while to another Riad paying more. Thank god he's back!

Halid's fabulous assistant, laying Bejmat.

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Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!