At the end of a long trawl round the souks of Marrakech, fending off eager salesmen (“ici Madame, ici”) & even more eager potential lovers (“tu a besoin d’un gazeu, Madame?”), the Café Bibliotheque appears, unannounced, just when you feel you cannot look at another bottle of argan oil. Its door is right by a small bookshop, from which it presumably takes its name.
Your climb up the steep stairs from this open doorway, is rewarded, on the first floor, with the sight of a spotlessly clean kitchen, presided over by a smiling lady. You ask for mint tea & feel quite unable to decline the suggestion of some Moroccan pastries as an accompaniment.
The next floor up presents itself as a very comfortable salon, lined with books & magazines – but do not tarry, because a few steps further up is the roof terrace & its wonderful panorama. Tea and the promised tiny pastries appear, beautifully presented. The mint tea is just as it should be, ditto the pastries & the view is of Old Marrakech: not the usual madness that is Djemma al Fnaa, but minarets, shops shaded by large awnings, normal people going about their normal business, cocks crowing, the odd moped, the burble of human voices, all framed by hills as a back -drop fronted by palm trees.
Here is real tranquillity, just a couple (well, more than a couple) of steps up from the madness that is the Marrakech Medina.
Pop down to the lounge and choose a couple of the afore-mentioned books or magazines and while away a very pleasant half an hour on the breezy heights, before descending and sallying out to do battle for your gifts and souvenirs once again.
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