A common setting for their travel dispatches, the riad: a type of Moroccan manor whose splendor includes a central, interior garden or atrium. They're quite often turned into little hotels and/or restaurants these days.
Riad [ رياد ] is from an old Arabic word for garden and is also closely related to the word riyaada [Arabic: ريادة ] which means, coincidentally for our travellers, pathfinding or exploration.
From Dean's blog, Backpack Adventures, he writes of an adventure to find a riad:
A little skeptical about whether we were actually being taken to the Riad, or if he was leading us around aimlessly, we followed him along the narrow and twisting alleyways. The further along we walked the worse the pathway became, with broken sidewalk pieces and stones scattered on the ground. We finally arrived at a large wooden door and the young boy rang the doorbell. There was no sign indicating that we were at the correct place, so we just hoped that the staff knew who we were. [Read more...]
On her blog, Stories by Vicki, she imagines an alternative story of holiday life in a riad:
Aliana slipped through the grand stone-carved doorway into the back kitchen to prepare mint leaves for Madame Monjée’s tea. It was 8:00am, which meant the patisserie driver should be there soon to drop off the croissants, baguettes and sweet pastries. As one of their premium guests at Riad Belle, Madame Monjée had very specific requests for her petit déjeuner, however the large tips more than made up for her high demands. Aliana felt grateful for her job at the Riad, and especially to the owner, Ms. Lacroix, for giving her the opportunity to work at such a beautiful hotel. [Read more...]Having tasted the sweet pleasures of life in Morocco, the intrepid couple are now trekking through Spain. alhamdullillah ala salaama, you two.