Morocco is a mystical, mysterious and exotic place. It’s a magical blend of Arabia and Africa – from the Atlas mountains to the Sahara desert where the warm, timeless desert breeze touches your soul, to the ancient cities of Marrakesh, Fez and Casablanca, whose protective city walls drip with secrets of days gone by. It’s also a place that drives me a little insane – which is maybe why I keep coming back: it’s like feeling fed up with an annoying lover , one that has you seduced by his addictive charms and you can’t let go……….just click on the links below for more information.
A Year in Casablanca – the Caliphs house by Tahir Shah
I love this book. And I think if you go to Morocco it is a “must-read”! After entertaining the idea of spending a few months living in Morocco, but deciding it would drive me bats, reading this book was like lying on the psychiatrists couch and being understood. I wanted to scream “YES! Yes!” This is the true story of Tahir Shar, when he uproots his family from England to move them to a rundown old Caliph’s house in Casablanca. His harrowing and hilarious story is a true reflection of the madness and illogic that is Morocco. Sometimes it is hard to tell people who have not been to Morocco about those mad Moroccan moments that you encounter and the colourful characters that cross your path – but this book manages it. Make sure you read it, and let me know what you thought!
by Suzanna Clarke
It’s hard not to fall in love with Morocco, and this is what happened to Suzanna Clarke and her husband. Deciding to buy a dilapidated, centuries-old riad in Fez to restore is when the fun started (personally I wouldn’t dream of doing this having heard a few horror stories!) I mean, if you have to write a book about it, let’s just say – this is going to be entertaining. Despite all the trials and tribulations, if you are still sane at the end, it is a very rewarding project. Read Suzanna’s entertaining account of her restoration job and her love for Morocco.
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams
by Tahir Shah
Tahir Shah comes from a family of story-tellers, so telling a good yarn is in his blood. He is also really curious about the old art of story-telling in his new homeland, Morocco, so he embarks on an adventure to find out more about it. From the old medinas of Fez and Marrakech, to the harsh Sahara desert, Tahir meets colourful characters and discovers some beautiful stories full of wisdom and morals. Just another Shah book that you will love!
by Paul Bowles
I read this book a long time ago, but it left a lasting impression on me. Paul Bowles spent time in Morocco when there were all sorts of weird and wonderful people there: artists, writers, European blue blood misfits – let’s just say an interesting crowd. This book gripping book is about psychological terror, of Americans trying to understand a a very foreign culture—and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them. You won’t be able to put this book down and you might need to pour yourself a gin (or two) while you read it.
by Edith Wharton
To be honest, I haven’t read this book yet, but it is on my reading list! Wharton travels in Morocco in 1917 and keeps a diary while she is there. I love reading about places were long ago (before tourism wrecked them) – when travel was an adventure and other cultures were extremely alien to us. Her story gives an invaluable insight into another time – of desert living, tribes, harems, and the lives of women. If you have read it, leave me a comment below.
And of course, if you are now thinking of going to Morocco…why not get a copy of the Lonely Planet to help find your way around this magical place!
Venus Adventures – Global Trips for Women offers fascinating, insightful and fun trips to Morocco. Just click here for more information!