Its in the evening - we are on the riad roof top - all blue green tiles and iron work fencing contemplating the end of another day. Its 8.45pm, the sun just setting over the horizon and the calls to prayer coming from all parts of the city - echoing amongst the buildings. Swallows are circling, cheeping and diving in the balmy breeze.
It was a false start to the morning - waiting for a "tour" that never turned up had us breathing a sigh of relief as we relaxed around the pool and blissed out.
Eventually we ventured out into the slim streets, cool in the shadows. The walls are a patina of terracotta colours with clear blue skies in a strip over head.
We shopped in a fashion. Meandering from stall to stall - enjoying ambience and the casual conversations that happen. One fellow had been photographed with Cathy Freeman, another had his shop in a New York book, another had his photo in a magazine - each of them with their claims to fame or quirky sales pitch. A few mentions of couscous - again odd moments' where meanings are lost in translation.
WE lunched in an oasis in the middle of somewhere. The thing with this place is all the unassuming streets, plain and unadorned and then slipping through a door into a oasis of green or mosaics or white stone -another world beyond each door. Lunch was chosen with deliberation and my mozzarella and ripe tomato, pesto and olive oil drizzled was incredible. Pistachio & chocolate ice-cream to finish. So good.
The boys did barber shop - Billy having his long hair cut and both having beards, nostrils and ears shaved.Quite the photo opportunity.
Then it was my turn. One women in a shop had a "mothers sisters uncles cousin" or similar and lead me to the womens hammam the bathes and massage for women. There were a few awkward moments, as the french speaking morrocan women tried to explain to english understanding Brisbane girl the process of a Moroccan bath. Turns out to be a formula quite easy. Firstly changing into a big comfy fluffy robe and down the stairs to a cool sweet smelling basement level place. A shower and into a warm room. Its cathedraled polished concrete walls and heated stone benches a place of quiet serenity
A women rubs me all over with a fragrant gel and my feet are soaked in warm water and seaweed. Left alone for a while in the quiet solitude in the warmth before she returns with a mitt and scrubs every inch of me. Skin flakes off every where. I think I must be 10kg lighter. Another shower before slipping into huge roman style baths. She brings water to drink and its a relaxing and weird and bizarre and daunting all in one breath. Then wrapped back into the fluffy bathrobe and into a fragrant massage room. Its an hour of gentle argan massage she leaves - turning off the light leaving the candle flickering. Eventually she returns to escort me to a sitting room to drink mint tea and relax before dressing and wending my way home throughout the riads of Marrakech. And to the rooftop of the riad to watch the swallows swoop over us.