Location: Marrakech, Morocco
An adventure searching for the perfect derelict Riad, through the constuction itself, to the end result (insha'Allah!)

Monday, 4 October 2010

67 derb Jdid, Douar Graoua

Thanks to Mathilde (riad 107) and Antoine (riad Aguerzame) for suggesting we look at this riad in derb Jdid, Douar Graoua.  Full of potential and perfectly located with good access.  After a week of riad hunting across the whole medina, from total knock down and rebuilds to beautifully designed high spec new builds, this one seems to fit the bill.  Needs a bit of work though, but has the potential to create a 3/4 bedroom riad, with a lovely private roof terrace.  Its a straight forward square shape 3 sided riad, which I have come to the conclusion is nice as it provides a wall upon which to create a fountain/water wall as a feature, rather than a 4 sided riad with all views onto the internal courtyard.  Fortuitously, the owner of the riad we stayed in is an architect (we shall call him Philip) and helped us measure it up and suggested what potential the riad could release.  After a good look around and the taking of the photos and videos, we left.  As we stood on the derb outside and I shut the door behind us.  Philip wondered where he had left the key and realised that it must still be inside the riad, together with his other keys and his mobile phone.  Oh.  Problem with riads, only one door and no windows.  Solution, enter the neighbouring riad and go upstairs to the roof terrace.  Climb over the wall and into the riad, with the help of some rope.  Here's where it gets tricky.  Most riads will have a locked door down into the house from the terrace.  In an unrenovated riad with no roof terrace, you have to use the rope to abseil over the courtyard opening and down into the courtyard or if you are lucky onto one of the first floor balconies.  Fortunately for Philip, there was a small (i.e. tiny) hatch in the roof giving access to the 1st floor, which he squeezed through, ripping his trousers in the vicinity of his crotch and down to his knees!  Philip emerged much later at the front door, ripped trousers, sweaty and hot, but with a grin on his face.  The adventure has definitely started!

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