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Reviews of Holidays and Hotels in Morocco - I Lost My Heart In

The Guardian, 4 Nov 2000

I lost my heart in... Taroudant, Morocco

John Mortimer

Why: I'm a creature of habit. I first went to Morocco 30 years and have been back every year: Morocco in January/February, Tuscany in July/August. We stay in the same hotel so I know everybody. I like going to shops where everybody says hello. I hate going to restaurants that I haven't been to before. In Taroudant, I know exactly what I am going to eat and drink.

The most beautiful way to get to Taroudant is from Marrakesh. You drive across the Atlas mountains, over the snow line with the almond trees in blossom. Somewhere in the middle of the mountains is a lovely French bistro with checked table cloths and vin ordinaire. Then you come down on to a fertile plain, and there is Taroudant, a nice little town with big pink walls.

You can buy a second-hand set of false teeth from the second-hand false teeth shop, dead bats for use as an aphrodisiac, as well as chameleons or wonderful spices and strange bits of old carvings.

The best thing: It is very unlike England. The landscape is full of mountains, and it is very beautiful and sunny in January. I can sit under the trees in the garden and write, with the roses and carnations already in flower. And often there is a spicy, hot smell which is very intoxicating.

My advice: Please don't go to Taroudant, because I like it so much that I don't want too many English visitors coming to spoil it.