We arrived in Marrakech early, about 8AM. It was the only flight that day, so we really had no choice. Paula had arranged for someone to meet us at the airport, a wise move because we were still a bit fuzzed out from jet lag. Plus, we had gotten up at 3:30 to get to the Milan airport, and had barely slept.
So, our driver is there with a sign for us and we are soon careening through the streets where the game, as in many developing nations, is to see how close you can come to the other traffic without actually making contact. (Needless to say, we were ever so glad we were not driving!) We enter into a tiny shopping street, the sellers' wares spilling into the narrow street as bicycles, pedestrians, the occasional car, and the ever present motorbikes weave in and out.
We stop after a block or two, the driver unloads our bags, and towing one of the wheelies himself, leads us down an even narrower alleyway. We stumble a dozen paces behind him, wondering what we've gotten into. Suddenly he makes a sharp turn and disappears. We look at each other, and hurry to avoid being left.
He is there, right around the corner, with our bag, waiting for us to catch up. But clearly, he has other things to do; he points down a long, narrow dark passageway, says "third door on the right" and is gone. We look at each other, shrug, and drag our bags down the cobblestones to a tiny hobbit door, studded with heavy nail heads. The brass plaque over the door proclaiming Dar El Youssifi tells us this must be the place. We have arrived, it seems.