One Magical Night in Morocco
I arrived in Agadir in the early evening after flying from Lisbon with a long layover in Casablanca. I was there for my Yin Yoga Teacher Training that would begin the next day and go for the following two weeks. Arriving a day early, and not wanting to spend what it would cost to stay at the resort where the training would take place, I booked a room blindly. For around $50, I would stay at the Villa du Souss Eco-Lodge, which was just three miles from the airport. My driver was there waiting as I departed the airport with his sign that read, "Coco," something I totally requested. It made my heart happy. I got into his car which looked more like the skeleton of a once operating car, and off we went.
I was back in Morocco, and it was just so striking. Upon arrival, one notices right away, the light. It is different in Morocco. It is so deeply saturated - the sunset just pours over the landscape. It had been 15 years. I had met my best friend in Marrakech. It would turn out that we were guests of the Prince, who was lovely and is now the King. That, my friends, is a whole other story!
The Lodge was in the middle of nowhere. We turned off a main road and down a dirt road that seemed to go on a long time, but it must have just been the terrain which made it feel as such. We arrived at the steps, of what appeared to me, to be the most beautiful home I'd ever seen. This couldn't be it! The proprietor, Mekki, was there to greet me. His warm and welcoming disposition made everything seem perfectly perfect. Booking things blindly like this, you never really know. I was at ease. He took me inside and I could not believe my eyes. It truly was breathtakingly stunning. It actually was a home - once Mekki's childhood home. I could never imagine growing up in such a place! Because I was the first of his guests that day to arrive, I had my pick of which room I'd occupy. He showed me the red room - it was ridiculous, the blue room - I died, and the golden room with the perfect amount of pink - this was it, but I went back into all of the rooms at least five or six times before settling on the golden pink lair. Magic. Pure magic. An embellished stairway, in my room, led me to the dreamiest bathroom. My balcony looked out over the mountains and the orange and lemon trees below. I just couldn't believe it! How?!
Mekki welcomed me to tea and treats in the library. What?! Oh, the tea! Half of the reason I chose to go to Morocco was for the mint tea. Giddy, I made my way down the hall to the most perfect tray of little wonders. How on earth had I chosen the most magical place, I will never know, but it would happen that the other guests' flights were severely delayed and wouldn't be coming until the wee hours, leaving me the sole occupant of the palace. I did my thing. I took a million photos, that sadly, devastatingly, I would lose due to my phone being stolen in Barcelona. (I am so sorry Mekki, this album won't do you justice, at all, whatsoever.) The staff cooked me the most amazing dinner. I sat at the huge table by myself. I put on some jazz and feasted, happily, so, so happily. I dined on fresh vegetables from the garden in the most wonderful tajine with warm bread. Mekki hung out with me for a bit, and spoke of his family, whose pictures were up in the dining room. Photos of Mekki and his siblings as little people, and his parents - you could see it was a beautiful, loving union. After his father passed they were going to sell the home, but Mekki thought to keep it, convert it into this sacred space for travelers to bear witness to the beauty his family curated. I quite enjoyed his company. He had a very calm and comforting energy. He laughed at my randomness - the winding road of life I had traversed and was continuing to do so. I told him about my thoughts of moving from Portland, Maine to LA. That made sense to him. He felt very familiar, like I had met him before...
It was actually pretty cold. Moroccan homes weren't heated the way we do in the West, but he did have space heaters. Upon Mekki's insistence, we moved every single one of them into my room, especially into my downstairs bathroom, because I was certainly going to spend a decent amount of time soaking in the most ornately decorated tub ever constructed. I nearly cried I was so happy. I would take more tea out to my balcony to let it all sink in. Just the day before I was in this enchanted castle in Sintra, Portugal, pretending to be a princess, and now here I sat, in a real life palace with tea and cookies, food from the garden, a smiling staff so happy to help, an angel host, a bath and warmth, my pink and golden room, and memories of my best friend and royalty. I never wanted to leave.
In the morning I would meet the other guests. I fell in love with an Irish family, and in special love with their baby boy, Zeki. Mekki and Zeki. Breakfast was enormous and glorious. A sweet member of the staff took me up to the roof. She didn't want me to leave without having that experience. Oh, was it stunning. I may have lost those photos from my phone, but that color of blue will live on in my heart forever. My car would arrive to take me to the beach resort for my teacher training, and I would go, albeit reluctantly.
Mekki's place, the Villa du Souss, is something out of a dream if you haven't already gotten that. One can palpably feel the love that once grew within its exquisitely decorated walls. If you are traveling through Morocco, and happen upon Agadir, without question, you must make this your haven. It is a place that words will never be able to define, and photos could never touch the splendor. Stay. Here...
Before I boarded my ride, Mekki would tell me that he read my blog and he thought that I was a very talented writer and photographer, and that he was looking forward to seeing what I would do with this sanctuary. I was so flattered. Beaming but sad, I was driven away. When my phone and all of the content I had created at the Villa was taken, my heart sank for Mekki. I wouldn't be able to properly tell the story that I was so excited to share. It took me too long to get over my feeling so upset about the whole thing to just do what I could. And what I hope that I have done is moved you, my dear reader, to go and see for yourself. You will not be disappointed, and most likely won't want to leave.
*** To Mekki, thank you so very much for making a solo girl's stay so brilliant. Thank you for sharing your history and listening to mine. Thank you for your above and beyond hospitality. I hope that I pass back through. I mean, I must now since all of my footage is gone, right? My very best to you and your sweet Villa du Souss family. From the bottom of my heart, shukraan.