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Spanish royals in Morocco

January 17, 2005
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The King and Queen of Spain were treated to a colourful welcome when they arrived in the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Monday. Juan Carlos and his wife Sofia, who have just begun a three-day trip to the north African country, were received by King Mohammed VI at a gala dinner in the royal palace.

It is the first time the Spanish monarch has made an official visit to his Mediterranean neighbour since 1979, and the trip is being taken as a sign of improving relations. And the royal is sure to be enjoying his return to the fascinating country, because Morocco also offers a feast of culture and history.

The mix of African, Arab and Berber communities give it a charm and vibrancy that is truly unique. In the streets of the Rabat and Tangiers tourists are greeted by colourful markets that are constantly abuzz with activity, but there is also the opportunity to escape to more tranquil settings, thanks to the unspoilt beaches of the Mediterranean and the palm-fanned oases of the Western Sahara.

A tour of the magnificent tiled palaces of Fez and Marrakech will meanwhile remind travellers that the country had a highly-developed society back when most of Europe was still languishing in the Dark Ages.

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Photo: AFP
King Mohammed's wife Lalla Salma, dressed in a striking orange creation, meets Queen Sofia
Photo: AFP
The Spanish royals were treated to a gala dinner with the Moroccan royal family

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