Thursday, June 6, 2013

Riad Carina

Halfway into our trip, we left the Sofitel to try a new experience at a riad, located in the heart of the medina (in the maze of narrow alleyways and half-hidden paths that radiate from Jemaa el Fna).

Riads are traditional Moroccan houses with an internal courtyard or garden.  Their architecture is such that even though they tend to be located in the noisiest and hottest parts of the city, the rooms are quiet and cool because they face inward.  When planning the trip, I thought it would be a nice experience and contrast to stay a night in a traditional riad.

At that point, however, the Sofitel was so nice that we were reluctant to leave, and my reluctance pretty quickly turned into remorse and regret after we had to pack up our suitcases, hail a cab, negotiate cab fare, and then find our riad.  The driver turned out to be a kindly, decent fellow who really knew where our riad was, but when he pulled up next to a random metal workshop and proceeded to deposit our bags on the street, my regret and remorse pretty quickly turned into panic.
Thankfully, we located our hotel, Riad Carina.  It was a little bit hidden, down a narrow alleyway that was really only wide enough for donkeys and pedestrians.

The riad was right next to Palace El Badi, which had these huge pelicans' nests all along the roof.  It was quite cool to see from our rooftop while we had breakfast.  Every so often, the pelicans would stretch up from their nests and make these loud knocking croaks.

My favorite Moroccan breakfast staple is the hot crepe with honey.  My theory continues: every culture has found a way to make a crepe...

On the afternoon we moved into the riad, we spotted some boys playing soccer in the narrow alleyway.  Michael couldn't resist joining in:

Me n' my new buddy

No comments:

Post a Comment