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.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Photos from France

Sorry it has been quite a while since I have last written on my blog, unusual for me, but I have been ill for 6 weeks and am now left with chronic asthma! We had a real heatwave this summer in Marrakech it was 53 celsius when we left. We had decided this year to drive to France not fly and have a few nice stop offs en route to sample a few boutique hotels. Unfortunately 4 days before we were due to leave and head to the ferry at Tangier I came down with a terrible temperature and acute laryngitis that was so bad it made me cry when i swallow, I had had a weeks stomach bug before this. The trip was hard work as I spent each night in the lobby of a hotel, coughing and coughing, not ideal. I eventually ended up in a Spanish hospital for 5 hours with an oxygen mask and steroid shots, then several times with French doctors and then a hospital in London and then we drove home. Not all bad though, I thought I would show you some photos of the village lunch which is held each year in Lamberniere, where my parents live in France and where we go on holiday each August for a family get together.
My father has been extremely busy this summer making, mainly chutney but he made this wonderful elderflower wine which we took to the lunch with us.
The wood for the bbq from the local vines.
A clever portable bbq where everyone cooked their own meat. It was a very succesful lunch and the weather was glorious.
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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!