Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Morning at the Riad d’Or, Meknes, Morocco

In the morning we wake up early and, with some guidance, find the Riad d'Or's upper level breakfast room. 

We are a bit too early, as it turns out, as the staff is still getting things ready for breakfast when we arrive. The positive side of this is that it gives us time to look around.

The dining room has both wonderful views and interesting objects on display and the staff is happy to answer questions and show us around a bit as they set up breakfast. We learn that the sprawling riad (built by 1791 and renovated in 2007) includes rooms that had been sealed for many years when the new owners took over. These rooms yielded an odd mixture of antique furnishings and decoration, Judaica, and stores of food – some of which is on display here and throughout the riad. 
We particularly are particularly fond of the intricately carved, painted and inlaid panels that were once part of the riad’s ceilings. What an incredible home this must have been! 
 From the breakfast room we can step out onto a couple of levels of rooftop terraces with fine views over the city. 
  
From this vantage it is also clear how serpentine the riad’s footprint really is. (Last night, the shortest route to the riad’s restaurant involved leaving the building and following the street around a bend.) It bends around and over some streets while cutting off others. It is equally convoluted vertically, with a maze of patios on various levels that makes it difficult to tell what is part of the riad and what is not.  
 
 
 
I can tell already that I will not leave Morocco wishing I could return to renovate a riad. What a challenge!

After breakfast I insist on time to absorb the riad’s beautiful main patio. (Our driver is already waiting for us, so there is pressure to get moving.)
 
 

Do I really have to leave?

Next post: A Glimpse of Meknes, Morocco
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