Marrakech – a bonus family holiday in 2007

Targa Sunset, MarrakeshLike waiting for a bus, we were lucky enough to have two hot summer holidays abroad this year. If anyone knows of any good carbon offsetting schemes for all those air miles, just let me know.

House guests of Katie’s family friend Tom Stoddart, we enjoyed the almost surreal luxury of being catered for all week in a beautiful and spacious home in Targa, on the northern suburbs of Marrakech. Tom, is well-off enough to have several domestic employees – all of whom were very friendly and helped us all to feel like we’d mixed with local people. Our French linguistics had to be dusted off a bit and with a strong regional accent, some words were hard to distinguish, but we got by.

The house was made even more child friendly by having a supply of dog and even eight 3-week old dachshund puppies. Olly and Lily made several daily visits to their little den each day.

Although it was lovely to have had a pool all to ourselves and enjoy the children (we went with Katie’s family: Sally, Simon, Olly, Lucy, Jean and Bill), we also had enough opportunities to nip into this amazing city a few times, too.

MarrakechThere’s some family photos here and less familyesque photos on Flickr here. The sunsets were particularly enjoyable – even without much immediate topography other than palm trees and olive groves. Simon and Sally’s flickr photos are here.

I also managed to keep the training going all holiday and ran each morning for a minimum of 35 minutes in some temperatures that would suggest a lot more lying in bed. The theory was to get up early and get out or get cooked. Daytime temperatures reached the mid 40s on some days but it was only in the high 20s in the mornings. I acclimatised well though, and running was a real joy in such a different environment. Google Earth tracks of the runs from my Garmin 305 are here, showing some nice zig-zagging through the shade of the olive groves and the dusty barren ‘fields’, complete with tumble weed.

Great fun – thanks Tom and we’ll come and see you again when you move to Agadir!