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.



Monday, October 20, 2008

A crazy day at Riad Zamzam - Marrakech

My good lord what a day yesterday. I haven't got time to write you this, but I couldn't resist it before embarking on my last minute shopping list! This is how the day started. We turned on the swimming pool pump and it made a dreadful sucking, churning noise. Turn it off bellowed Marcus as we all waited for it to explode. It turns out that the very consciencious tadelakt man had put a big blue plastic bag in the filter at the bottom of the pool, so that when he was working no tadelakt would fall in and block the pump. The problem is everyone had forgotten this until the dreadful noise. We all looked at each other and then everyone said in unison, Abdelkarim (the guardien) will have to get in - the water is freezing said Mo the manager, no its not shouted the English party. What you don't know is that Abdelkarim is a bit of a show off so he jumped at the chance and was very proud that he had been chosen. Armed with a skrew driver, as he had to undo the screws underwater, down he dove. We need goggles, where can we get goggles in the Medina? everyone looked at me as if I had made a seriously blond comment.
How funny is that photo! He managed to get both screws out amazing! and saved the day. You can stay said Mo as he got out the pool. I think he needs a bonus for that one.
The day got more crazy ending in a huge Monsoon of rain, just as we were putting up curtains, thunder banged the wind blew and blew and the night was lit with ferocious lightning, we tried to get home in the pitch black. The roads were chaos, two accidents with police sending us back into town. We don't need this said Marcus as we ploughed through a lake on the road and lost vision.

Exhausted the evening ended with Marcus falling up the stairs whilst carrying my computer and broke the dongle off the side of it. I am able to post as I have stuck it together with gaffa tape and managed to get on the Internet!
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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!