I played "Marrakech Express" for the kids at the train station yesterday and they rolled their eyes at me as if to say, "what is that old junk?" I guess I don't care what they think, because I found it fun to listen to CSN's song about the train ride we were about to embark on. I've always know this song and found it exotic, and it was nice to live it out. Even though we were going north instead of south, the journey was essentially the same.
"Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue..."
Even though yesterday was physically relaxing, we all feel a little tired today and have decided to enjoy a relaxing morning at our riad. Sometimes we just need to be still, surf the internet, do homeschooling and prepare for days ahead. This is such a comfortable place to do that.
The tour was fantastic, and there's no way we would have found our way around this ancient place without help. On our own, we would have only seen the touristy part of town rather than experiencing hidden gems that the locals see. As mentioned above, the streets wind their way up the local hills, and the doorways along the paths hide everything from simple shops to small homes to grand riads. Our guide arranged for us to peak into some of the gorgeous courtyards that are completely invisible from the paths. We also saw a fancy riad that Molly would have loved to stay at due to the gorgeous little pool. She'll have to come back on a bigger budget!
This city, unlike Marrakech's core, feels like an authentic, working city. Tourism is a side industry, whereas leather production, woodcarving, metal work, etc, are at the heart of this city's success.