The smell of scorching kebabs, the distant sound of the muezzin calling to the prayer, the bright coloured merchandise: the medinas in Morocco are an attack on your senses and Meknès medina is no exception. If you know where to head, even in this busy labyrinth there’s serenity and silence to enjoy. I found it at Riad Atika, a century old mansion once inhabited by a sultan and now a travelers oasis of peace and hospitality.
Upon arriving in the old city of Mèknes, I have to immerse myself in the hustle and bustle of the city’s medina. Fortunately I’m provided with proper instructions and signposts make it not too hard to find Riad Atika. I’m warmly greeted by the man that runs this place with his wife and he urges me to directly head to the rooftop to enjoy the sunset. The contrast can hardly be any greater: elevated above the narrow streets of the busy medina, I’m having a broad view over Mèknes and nothing but the sound of birds fills the air. One look at the rooftop terrace shows this retired couple put all their love and effort in making this riad a home away from home.
My small room is, just like the other rooms and hallways, wonderfully decorated. The stunning multicolored glass ceiling gives the place a magical touch and the rich woodwork, small benches with soft pillows, handwoven rugs and authentic lamps everywhere make you feel like you just stepped in a 1001 nights fairy tale.
The next morning I’m provided a majestic breakfast and all the kind help and advice I could wish for as a traveler. With a heavy heart I say goodbye to my caring hosts, hoping that one day I will be able to enjoy this beautiful place a little longer…