We had no idea what to expect from Morocco and it ended up being a very pleasant surprise. The people were amazing, the food was good, the shopping was AWESOME (thank you Visa and FedEx for taking care of all of my purchases), and the landscape was unbelievably beautiful and surprising. Who knew Morocco was a snow skiing destination??
On to the photos, and as usual I had a hard time paring them down. Oh, and this was the big boys' 70th country visited! Quite the milestone for a 12 and 14-year-old.
We started off with half a day in Marrakech where we wandered the alleys, souks, and markets. It's a crazy show with snake charmers, monkeys, birds, and people hawking all types of souvenirs.
|Fresh juice with our brood helping. The people were incredibly nice.|
After that we headed off toward the desert through the High Atlas mountains. AMAZING views everywhere with such a diverse landscape. We did not envision Morocco like this at all.
After driving about 5 hours with a few sightseeing stops, we were off to the desert to camp for the night.
|Our ride into the Sahara|
|Our camel guide|
The sand was unlike any we've ever seen. It was fine like powder and didn't seem to stick to you...well, unless you're a boy who rolls in it multiple times. We were cleaning out the boys' ears for days afterwards.
Dinner was served in a larger tent, family style and was really good. Most meals we had a tangine (a stew of meat and veggies slow cooked in an earthenware type pot shaped like a conical pyramid), couscous, rice, and bread. As per usual, we brought along our own beer and wine given this wasn't our first rodeo in a Muslim country. Although we learned this is one of the more relaxed countries as far as religion. Our guide said he drank alcohol and regularly flew to Spain to "party."
|After dinner the staff played traditional Moroccan music and Dominic and Jack helped. The man on the far left owned the camp and tour company we used.|
|Nothing like the stars in the desert. We all decided this was amazing but it was brighter in the Jordanian desert.|
Something else we learned is that Morocco is famous for fossils. When our boys heard this they got very excited so our guide made a detour for some fossil hunting. Millions of years ago this area was under water so the area is littered with trilobites and ammonites, and other fossils I'd never heard of. Many, many people make their living hunting them and then turning them into furniture and souvenirs. Cue Visa and FedEx...two Moroccan tables are currently making their way to Switzerland.
|A table like the two we're having made and shipped|
From the desert it was back on the road again through the Dades valley toward Marrakech. Along the way we saw and stopped at multiple amazing kasbahs, which are the citadels of North African countries.
Oh, and an opportunity for Visa and FedEx to brighten the day. This bad boy Moroccan door has already shown up on my Swiss doorstep. And there may be a rug and a few other incidentals that left this showroom to find a new home with me.
And then back to Marrakech for some more sightseeing (this is their largest mosque) and shopping.
|I think we bought all three of these scarves|
|The people were so photogenic but it was harder to capture it because they either didn't really like having their picture taken or they wanted money for the privilege.|