Not going to lie and pretend I wasn't nervous about this little adventure. I'm not really a hippy kind of parent and most of the time I'm terribly middle class. My only real idea of Morocco came from Hideous Kinky which (for the main) seemed all lovely, middle class and divorced mummy adventurous. I MAY have confused Kate Winslet's character in Hideous Kinky with the actual Kate Winslet- who IS terribly middle class and actually appears to go on holiday to Richard Branson's Necker Island.
Sometimes, in my head, it's difficult to find the line between real life, fantasy and actually doing things with kids. In my fantasy world we were going to look like an intrepid Instagram family, all glamorous and Conde Nast Travelleresque. Or maybe like David Beckham's 40th. Suffice to say, we looked like we normally do, just in our "holiday wardrobe."
We decided to book a tour of Marrakech on our first morning, mainly to get us orientated. I am so grateful to Abdul from Marrakech Guided Tours for opening our eyes to the city. I can't quite praise him enough. What started off as a bit of a drag for the kids, in their minds, turned into a full on experience. It was lovely to wander the souks with someone who has lived there all their life and could show us the real beauty and charm of the area through their eyes. It made it less so much less "alien" to us all and demonstrated the humor, fun, banter, and LIFE that characterizes the area. Had we ventured out alone that first day, I'm not sure we would have gone back. Abdul gave us that confidence and showed us how to enjoy the experience. He taught the children how to barter for their Dr Who Fez hats with humor and grace, how it's OK to ask questions and be interested-how not to be scared, just because something is different to your norm.
Abdul has left a deep love of the city embedded in them. He was able to tailor the trip to cater all their needs: their little legs, the heat, the bustle- and show us pit stops along the way to navigate by and take a much needed orange juice break at places like Cafe Des Epices (which you will pass countless times!)
By Sonya Greenfield