Day 25: the Riad experience

May 30, 2007 akistemp
Maison Bel Baraka is at the heart of the Marrakesh Medina and is run by a Moroccan - Greek couple
Maison Bel Baraka is at the heart of the Marrakesh Medina and is run by a Moroccan – Greek couple

Just as we got used to live in our Maggiolina, we are back in the luxury of a Marrakesh traditional Riad. Yesterday we arrived to Marrakesh and drove directly towards the Medina to find the Maison Bel Baraka, a traditional Riad – an old rich Morocco villa – transformed to a 5 room hotel. What a wonderful place!

Hidden in the alleys of the Medina, next to the Riad Larousse behind a heavy wooden door, you find here the ultimate Moroccan hospitality. Each room is individually decorated, there is a pleasant patio and a nice view for tea and breakfast, overlooking the biggest Medina of the country.

In Bel Baraka we were accepted by Rashid, the guy who runs the place and has decorated it as well, his greek wife Charlotte Lazarou and Petros Katrakazos, the owner of Chez Dimitri, the famous Ouarzazate restaurant, where we had an unforgettable dinner the previous night.

Chez Dimitri is a very special place. It was created by Dimitris Katrakazos in 1928 and used to be a restaurant, grocery store and petrol station for the French Legion. Today it is a must for every visitor in Ouarzazate, as from time to time it hosts all actors that frequent the town Hollywood studios, from Omar Sharif to Brad Pit. Yesterday, before driving to Marrakesh, we actually visited Atlas studios to see the set of different movies like Asterix, Kleopatra, Gladiator, etc.

Yesterday, our program was to come to Marrakesh, stay for a couple of hours and go away, but after one day we are still here. It’s Charlotte, Rasid and this great place that don’t leave us hit the road again. Though, after we hustled today at the Jamma El Fna square  – what a real life theatric show, actually – we intend to depart for Essaouira tonight, which will be our last station in Morocco. Tomorrow, you will know if we actually hit the road again…_A.Temperidis