Hammams & couscous

November 13, 2010 in MOROCCO | Comments (6)

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Entering the refuge from the bustling street

La Sultana hammam & spa

An Arabic style “meditational corridor” takes you past the lush courtyard with heated pool to the spa. Here there is another pool with Jacuzzi style bubbles.

Massage was fabulous. First the hammam …lie down, have warm water thrown over you…then the scrub. Vigorous. Till you almost feel you will be peeled like a raw potato.

But no, you begin to glow. Lying in the humid warmth – no fierce heat like a sauna, just a blessing of gentle moist heat.

Then a massage wow…and wow. It felt like a redefinition of my shape, as if she would make me, into more woman than a woman. Super woman. I was stretched, I was taller…I was certainly more supple, like butter, so soft; I could hardly climb the stairs afterwards.

Couscous: 30 vs 230 dirham

We tried to book dinner at the La Sultana restaurant 7pm – the first table we could get at this tiny exclusive restaurant was at 9.30. Again the romantic setting by the pool and palms, but the live music was not as magical as the night before, when I felt I was being entertained by the master. Whether it was a new man, or a more tired man, or whether his son who was accompanying him was adding a bit of untidiness….

Still very pleasant sound. I had couscous with vegetables, also very nice

230 dirham’s for the cous cous – only 200 more than the cous cous at lunchtime. 🙂

Our couscous in the Medina for only 30 dirham’s was perhaps the best thing I tasted in Marrakech. But to give the true picture, I should mention the table cloth was a piece of paper with the last guest’s bill scribbled on it – he did change the paper and our bill got scribbled on that — but torn off and handed to us for convenience. The other possible negatives if one must mention them – apart from paper plate, paper cloth and close proximity of other guests at the long trestle, was the authentic banging of hammers at two shops that were making Moroccan lanterns. Further a 3 legged cat limping by, and then a four legged cat digging in the sand under the palms to perform his toilette…

Finally though I ordered vegetable couscous, a “carrot” underneath felt strange to my metal spoon, and I dug out a drumstick and a wing from under my mound of vegetables. Vegetable obviously does not mean vegetarian. I popped my chicken bits onto Pelle’s plate – and when I pointed the chicken out to the waiter he indicated a kind disinterest in changing my dish, pointing to the remaining vegetables with the words “vegetable”. I think they do cook the vegetables and chicken separately, and compose each meal with chicken, vegetables and couscous just before serving, that way being fair and giving equal though small quantities of chicken.

Trying to identify the locality on my map, it was I think Qzadria.

Our not very adventurous morning took us out towards two palaces between Kasbah and Medina. Passing little shops for spices, mats and lanterns.

We were advised to rather see the extraordinary Bahia Palace, but chose the closer El Badii Palace. Because the day was so hot for Northern blood, that I felt I was close to fainting. Dizzy with heat…

El Badii was an ancient palace – more of a ruin than anything – with gigantic outer walls, and some orange gardens in an unpaved basin. Five storks up there on the ancient walls watching a few tourists crawl around in the heat. Imagine so hot. In November….one month before midwinter. Cannot imagine how hot it must be in the summer.

Hot but content to just soak in the space and shimmer of heat, ancient walls and the storks watching us.

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