I've tried on numberous occasions over the last couple of days to write this but with the best will in the world, the weekend ran away with me! Could be something to do with the two birthdays, Saturday night out, and then cooking Sunday lunch for nine My life is never dull, but it is rather good to be able to sit down in the relative calm of my kitchen and write to you now, as promised, about my trip to Morocco
It was one of those last minute holidays based solely on a friend's recommendation, but it was definitely one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed in. Set on the beach in Agadir, it was a mere three and a half hours flight away, yet felt like a different world… the initial and most noticeable difference being the 20 or so degrees in temperature! We had an early morning flight from Gatwick, and as I had worked until midnight, there wasn't really much time for a sleep before we left home, but with seven days relaxation ahead of me, I wasn't unduly worried
The plane was brand new with definitely more leg room than the usual short haul flights and as there was no-one sitting next to me, I was able to curl up and sleep next to Colin for a little while. The sky was clear as we flew over Marrakesh and Colin snapped this photo. Good job he did, as a few moments later we plunged into thick cloud and couldn't see a thing!
A rumble of discontent filled the plane as we made our landing – the airport only just visible before we touched down – but as we clambered out onto the tarmac it was pretty warm, and I was finally able to remove my Dennis Basso faux fur jacket!
Neither Colin nor I had ever been to Morocco, but as we travelled the short distance to the hotel it reminded us both of the outskirts of Dubai. A mix of large shops and tiny stores, people everywhere and a great many unfinished buildings.
The hotel though was down the coast road, and set back a little so that it looked out onto the sea. We arrived at midday and were advised to head to the 'snack' restaurant as our room wasn't quite ready. To get there we had to walk through the grounds of the hotel which were truly impressive. A great deal of thought must have gone into the layout which included two large yet relatively shallow swimming pools, and masses of seating areas, hundreds of cushioned sunbeds, and even some curtained sections where you could relax out of the sun… which we were reliably informed would be out shortly!
And come out it did, in spectacular style, around 3pm, and treated us to bright blue skies and very welcome warmth. Infact with the exception of Saturday – when it rained continuously – we had a mix of cloud and sunshine every day, and for the most part strong winds! As you can see from this picture of the seafront, the palm trees are used to it, but there were a couple of occasions when several parasols and cushions ended up in the pool!
As it was so windy, the red flag was flying continuously which meant no swimming in the sea, but the beach was fabulously sandy and so Colin and I walked the mile or so up to Agadir Marina and back. I usually prefer the sea to swim in as I hate the smell of chlorine on my skin, but the pools at the hotel had no bleach smell to the water at all which was fabulous!
One was heated to a very warm temperature and the other was unheated. Having swum in the heated pool on our first day, following a rather late night, the following morning I decided to have a quick dip to blow away the cobwebs. Casually sauntering between sunbeds I stepped out of my flipflops and jumped into the other pool! By crikey it was freezing and certainly woke me up, although I had to contend with brain freeze for a good few minutes
Unlike our other holidays, this time Colin and I did very little indeed. Infact our visits to the Marina were the only excursions we made during the week, and instead we spent our time lazing by the pool, playing table tennis or reading… very relaxing. The only other exercise we did was to walk the rather long corridor that took us to any one of the three restaurants that were in the main body of the hotel. The food was delicious – a mix of traditionally Moroccon with tempting tagine dishes – and some European menus too.
The choice was amazing, and I counted 24 different desserts one evening!! In truth we were both rather grateful that our room was some distance away as it gave us an opportunity to 'walk off' the huge amount we'd eaten! As with all good holidays, the week slipped by far too fast, but by way of a complete change, while we'd been soaking up the sun, the weather at home had been horrendous!
Every day we'd checked in with the news channels to be informed that Britain was hiding under a blanket of snow with drifts of up to eight feet!! I was more than a little relieved not to have been faced with the onerous task of keeping the house warm, although it was more than a little 'igloo' like when we finally got in at 2.30am as the heating had been off all week!
All things being even, what with our next trip to Nashville (Colin's Christmas present from me) and my pending surgery, we hope to maybe return to Agadir in the autumn and this time have a look around… we've loved what we've seen so far though, and I'd highly recommend it
As always, it's been lovely to hear what you've been up to over the Easter break, and I very much hope that the increase in temperature and several days of sunshine will have been countrywide and not just here in the South of England
Take care, keep in touch, and I'll look forward to writing to you whenever you get the chance to drop me a line, love Ali xx