Michael Portillo takes in the sights, smells and tastes of north Africa as he travels from the Mediterranean port of Tangier to the Berber city of Marrakech.
Michael Portillo leaves Europe behind to take in the sights, smells and tastes of north Africa as he travels from the Mediterranean port of Tangier to the Berber city of Marrakech.
Morocco-bound with his 1913 guidebook in hand, he discovers in Tangier how, in the year before his Bradshaw was published, this once proudly independent nation fell under the control of the French as rival European powers scrambled to extend their empires in Africa. At Asilah, Michael lends a hand with the construction of Morocco's new £3 billion high-speed railway line to Casablanca. In Fez, he dodges the donkeys and learns how to make lamb tagine before being scrubbed down in a traditional hammam.
Arriving in Casablanca, Michael makes straight for the most famous gin joint in the world. He visits the vast and beautifully decorated Hassan II mosque, which boasts the world's tallest minaret before boarding his Marrakech Express. In the desert city of the Berbers, Michael explores the thousand-year-old tanneries and shops in the souk. In the foothills of the Atlas mountains, Michael is invited to share breakfast with a Berber family.