At the risk of sounding a little ungrateful, when you travel for 3 – 4 months a year for work it’s easy to become travel weary… You actually miss doing things for yourself after a while – like washing or cooking – and you crave the simple pleasures of home like a couch dinner that’s cooked to your taste. And this is coming from me – a girl who’s name and ‘domestic goddess’ will never appear in the same sentence…
When we got to Morocco last year, I was feeling exactly like this and I was kicking myself for it. We’d done a 6 week stint in India, 2 weeks in Istanbul, and a few nights in Rotterdam before touching down into Marrakech. I desperately wanted to feel excited and ready to explore, when in reality I felt like staying in our teeny tiny room in our cute Riad and never leaving. The lack of room service or in-house dining was possibly a blessing, as I may well have done just that.
After some changes to our travel plans, we found ourselves on the train to Fez. It was here that things started to change. Checking into Dar Roumana (worthy of its own post so will follow up soon) and being welcomed by hotel owner and fellow Aussie, Vanessa, was a turning point. The Dar was just unbelievable, the food Michelen-star worthy and the enthusiasm for Fez and the surrounding areas just reinvigorating.
This is how we ended up on a train ride to Meknes and then a shared taxi to Moulay Idriss (an experience in itself!) with the promise of lunch at Scorpion House. We were rather sketchy on the details, simply told by Vanessa that Scorpion House opens once per month for lunch and she’d arranged a booking. And often when you travel, you just need to say ‘Yes!’.
So as we stood in the square of this Holy town waiting for the Waiter to come and fetch us, we really had very few expectations. As we climbed the stairs, painted with magical pastel hues, I began to remember how lucky I was to be in this amazing country!
When we arrived at Scorpion House and met owner, Mike, I knew this day was going to be something special. A lover of rustic interiors, eclectic homes and inspiring stories – this place just peaked all of my interests. I’m sure Mike must have wondered whether I was ok – I could hardly focus on our meet and greet… Too busy picking my jaw up off the floor and taking all the magic in.
Once I’d semi-recovered, we sat down to the most delicious lunch. Course after course came out of fresh, Moroccan cuisine. Being sure to eat slowly so we could stay the best part of the afternoon! Chatting with Mike, drinking mint tea, exploring his home and hearing about his journey to Morocco was an experience I will never forget. The truly welcoming host that he is, Mike let us take picture after picture – a series of photos I actually find myself looking at rather regularly and reminiscing.
As the sun dropped, we very reluctantly said our goodbyes, vowing to make our way back there next time we found ourselves in Morocco. Not ready to call it a day, we walked from the town through the countryside to the enchanting ancient ruins of Volubilis – a UNESCO listed site and one of the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire.
This day was just perfect… I rediscovered my love of travel, feeling reinvigorated and inspired. A year on, and a number of trips later, it still remains one of my favourite travel moments. X