WOW ! What a difference a month can make ? Especially in the life of a developing holiday resort in Morocco !
The activities of the past month here on Med-Saidia are nothing less than amazing. For a place that seemed to be going dramatically backwards as opposed to forwards for a few months at the end of 2008, and the beginning of 2009, the place has managed a 180 degree flip. It is now a pleasure to live here. (Yes, we were beginning to have a few doubts during November of last year and March of this year), but this is now, definitely what we signed up for.
The Medina is obviously still being worked on (behind the scenes). However, having an almost fully stocked Marjane supermarket (open 8am – 11pm currently) within walking distance is an absolute blessing. It no longer takes 4 hours to do a shop, we don't have to 'stock up – just in case' and it's so much cheaper in petrol (and speeding fines !). Marjane is growing steadily busier as the days pass. This is shown by the fact that if you go there on a Monday, you're not likely to be able to find any good bread or fresh produce left. This is an issue for us living here, but possibly less so for the holidaymakers, as I guess a lot of people will go out to eat while they are here.
We can also now wonder down to Venezia Ice for an evening ice cream or afternoon tea and sandwiches, and take part in the 'staring fest' that Moroccans seem to specialize in.
There are more restaurants opening on a regular basis in the Marina area. Pizza seems to be on the menu of most of them - fine by me ! We're working our way through the restaurants and menus. Obviously all in the name of research only !
I can now send postcards and letters from our on-site Post Office, where the smiley postmistress 'Wafa' is always on hand to assist. To date, no one has written to us, I check our PO Box regularly – not even any bills !?
There are numerous properties occupied on the Med-Saidia site already. The Bank Populaire Resort close to 'the Greens' has by far the highest occupancy. It also has 'proper' 24 hour security and a manned gate. Other than that mainly plots AP6/AP4/AP2. I think AP6 and AP2 seem to be the busiest at this stage (if the garbage bins are anything to go by). Many people are having building work undertaken whilst they are here, so the sound of drills and hammering echoes around most days. All major 'construction' has been stopped for the month of July. Not that there is any happening anyway !?
Finally, the pools on AP6/AP4/AP2 have had some maintenance, and there are people using them - regularly. I am a little bit fussy with pools, and there is too much chlorine and not enough cleaning for my liking, so we'll stick to the sea. I don't know what's floating in the sea, but I feel better in there anyway, must be all the salt !?
For those of you that are visiting AP6 soon, I do hope they get round to fixing the sunken car parks. We have been asking since February for these 'holes' to be mended, but to date it still looks like some mini bombs have been detonated, and it does make parking a little difficult when the place is busy. I have been promised this week that they are due to be fixed by the end of next week. God willing.
Both hotels seem to be fairly busy. Mainly Spanish and Italian package tourists on 'deals' from what we understand. They do have a long way to go before they are 'real' four and five star all inclusive hotels, but for this region, they're pretty good compared to the competition. It's rumoured that they will close at the end of September to complete the maintenance on both, we'll see. They are doing the best they can under the circumstances.
Saidia Old Town is packed ! Already there are hundreds if not thousands of extra people milling around. We're not used to it, this is our first full summer season here, so it is a bit of a shock to the system. Now I know how all those people that live in the likes of Cornwall and Bournemouth feel when the summer tourists arrive. It's great for the economy that's for sure. We have trouble getting a coffee in our local café nowadays, as the waiters are rushed off their feet.
We've decided – after much deliberation and requests, to set up a Property Management Company for owners of Med-Saidia properties. We are in the process of setting up a new website, collating information, setting up business partnerships and ironing out the legalities. We hope to have most aspects in place by mid September. We will be sending out an official message to everyone once we have everything in place.
I look forward to meeting you to swap stories.