Hi everybody ! When you read this article, I’ll be a bit more northwards, in a slightly weird land, where men wear kilts and sometimes nothing under them. What a cliché, you’ll tell me, and you’ll be right, but please let me dream. I’m thus for the week in Edinburgh, as part of a press trip I’ll tell you more about in the coming days, I fully intend to narrate our adventures as they happen, I am leaving in good company: I say we’ll enjoy big time.
And, height of coincidence, I had chosen to announce today an English version for Pensées by Caro. Wait, not a shabby translation from Google, no no no, but the fruits of a huge amount of work from Aurélie Lasherme, a perceptive and tenacious young woman, who, turning her nose up at my indecisive temperament, clung to the project and has been working on my texts for months. To be honest I hadn’t really thought of crossing the Atlantic or the Channel, not sure my writings could be interesting in English. But finally, on an enthusiastic proposal from Aurélie, I said: nothing ventured nothing gained, and if I too want to, one day, speak to you from “the studio”, I’ll have to turn to English.
All articles won’t be translated, but already, all the ones narrating my ‘Zermati’ journey and all ‘Minutes by Minutes’ are available plus several other articles. We’ll assess in a few months if we’ve hit the nail on the head and time will tell, basically.
In any case, a huge thank you to Aurélie and Frédéric who did a great job, I almost feel like Carrie Bradshaw…
Wednesday evening, we set out for a Southern region, very southern actually. For Taroudant precisely, also called the small Marrakech or the city of snakes. A well-kept secret, where mass tourism doesn’t exist. We took up residence in Dar Al Hossounriad, a marvelous oasis run by Thierry and Oliver, two Frenchies who love Morocco and who, it’s the least you can say, are very welcoming and know how to help you love their adopted country.
From Morocco, I knew only Marrakech, visited twelve years ago with our twins who were still very young, a stop in Essaouira was included in our stay. We loved everything, smiles, souk, medina, mosques, flavours. We promised ourselves to come back, soon, especially as our dear friend N. was living in Casablanca. And then that nasty illness, and then N., gone. And Morocco, like an almost holy land, a sanctuary.
A few years later, here we are again and with us, N., a little bit. Three days are short, but in the end it’s enough to smell the air and get confirmation that we’ll have to come back, without too much delay. As usual, I don’t pretend to give you an exhaustive minutes but here is what I retain from this gateway, in case you’d feel like escaping our how so French pessimism…
After spending half the day lazing around next to the riad’s pool, marveling at baby peacocks and mother turtles, we finally found enough energy to go out. Omar took us in a horse-drawn carriage around the town’s battlements, from the Casbah to the medina. If you can find Omar, truly, do not hesitate, he is amazing and knows the history of each stone, each street, each riad. It’s not impossible that he teams up with the apothecary from whom I bought half the shop right in front the Churros’ half alarmed half appalled eyes. But who cares, I loved Omar. Rose too.
The oldest battlements of Taroudant, 7km long in total, go back to the 15th century I think, but I’m not categorical. Today, some parts of the fortified town are nicely renovated, thanks to people from France and Belgium in particular who have built their houses within the fortifications. In some other places, you can feel that it is close to collapsing. But even the most dilapidated parts attire themselves at sunset in a magnificent amber colour, which makes the whole appeal and singularity of this small town… The dried wadi was the setting of the shooting of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves with Fernandel. Apparently, not one inhabitant of the town didn’t play in this blockbuster. A true group memory told and told again by the elders…
On the joint advice of Deedee and Violette, we went to Tifnit, a small fishing village with whitewashed houses gathered on the hillside. The walk turned into a camel ride (or dromedary, debate is still in full swing). A first for the kids and me. The churros was showing off like crazy since he mastered camel. Not sure we weren’t Tifnit’s star attraction, neither that just the thought of it doesn’t still make them laugh. Seriously, this place is unbelievable, timeless. I could have stayed for days, I believe, daydreaming in front of the small blue boats’ incessant comings and goings.
Then, we headed towards Ksar Massar, an incredible hotel, set on a dune, facing the sea. Let me tell you, I’m not ruling out ending my days there, in one of the suites with huge bay windows. I’d hurdle down the dune light and slender and I’d play, light-hearted, with the waves. Then, I’d fucking die climbing back this lousy dune.
I’m leaving you with a few pix, there will be more during the week with a French Disordercompetition into the bargain, you can see some of their tee-shirts here and there…
 TN : Fernandel was France top comic actor from 30s to 60s