Reason 401 Why I Love (Southern) Morocco

Reason 401 Why I Love (Southern) Morocco: Due to the tremendous static electricity in the area, the simple act of turning over in bed at night creates an intense, personal mini laser light show. Advertisements Continue reading Reason 401 Why I Love (Southern) Morocco

The Golden Spiral as seen from above

Desert Sculptures Part One: Golden Spiral

Way out in the desert (seriously, it was a long, long walk), There are three desert sculptures, or art/home installations, built by German Artist, Hannsjörg Voth. From the town of Jorf, or sometimes El Jorf, it’s about a seven mile hike to the nearest piece. Then, it’s several miles between each of them. We thought we could do it all in one day, but we only … Continue reading Desert Sculptures Part One: Golden Spiral

Castle of the Moors

Near the brightly colored Pena National Palace, lie the ruins of an ancient castle built by the Moors (North African Muslims) during Islamic rule of the Iberian Peninsula. It’s like anything one would imagine during the reign of King Arthur. It’s rampart battlements snake around an entire hilltop and provide an excellent view of the vast agricultural area it was intended to protect. Built during the 8th and … Continue reading Castle of the Moors

Aghbalou N’Kerdouss

Tucked up into the Atlas Mountains near the Amazigh hotbeds of Goulmima and Tinjdad, is a remarkable little village called Aghbalou N’Kerdous. Situated near a year-long creek that provides ample water for crops, the town, despite the altitude, has been thriving for ages. The word “aghbalou,” pronounced with a slight ‘r’ after the ‘a’ so that it sounds like ‘arghbaloo,’ means “water spring” or “source” and … Continue reading Aghbalou N’Kerdouss

Merzouga Camel Trek

Perhaps it’s a stereotype, but, truth be told, Morocco is a fairly arid country. Much of its southern area borders on or is part of the vast Saharan Desert. In fact, once one crosses the Atlas Mountains, it predominately desert with a numerous oases scattered about. Initially, the dryness and the heat were challenging, but I’ve come to accept them, even welcome them on occasion. … Continue reading Merzouga Camel Trek

Al Hoceima

Sometimes, after roughing it in the desert, a guy just needs to get away and be spoiled. What better way to do that than cheaply, during off-season at a almost empty, but swanky hotel? Especially, when the weather has been unseasonably warm and lovely. When I checked in to the Mercure Hotel in Al Hoceima. I was the only tenant in the entire hotel. In fact, … Continue reading Al Hoceima

Fuq Figuig!

One of the definite advantages of living and working in southern Morocco is that any trip north toward greater civilization, be it for leisure or work, generates an opportunity to be creative with the route by which one arrives there. On this particular occasion, being needed in Rabat, I took the opportunity to swing around to the right and visit the East/North. My first stop was Figuig, the … Continue reading Fuq Figuig!

Desert Qanats

On the margins of the Sahara Desert, the isolated oases of the Draa River valley and Tafilalt have relied on qanat (locally khettara) water for irrigation since the late 14th century. In Marrakech and the Haouz plain, the qanats have been abandoned since the early 1970s, having dried up. In the Tafilaft area, half of the 400 khettaras are still in use. The Hassan Adahkil … Continue reading Desert Qanats

Ait Ben Haddou

Near Ouarzazate, known within country as the Moroccan Hollywood, within the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, lies an old fortified city called Ait Ben Haddou. The name, roughly translated, means “the clan of the son of Haddou.” Lying at the southern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and being proximal to trade routes, including access to Marrakech just over the Tizi N’Tichka Pass, the village … Continue reading Ait Ben Haddou

Ouarzazate and Its Environs

It’s strange to be writing this so late, but somehow I neglected to write a post about my time in Ouarzazate and its environs a few months back. The whole area is quite lovely and peaceful. In fact, the word ‘Ouarzazate” means “without noise” or “peaceful” in the native Tamazight language. Known also as the Moroccan Hollywood, it has several production studios in town where dozens of movies … Continue reading Ouarzazate and Its Environs