Morocco (part 1)

So far, life has proven to me, that wonderful changes can happen, when I’m ready to embrace them. This trip happened, as a further proof. Morocco was one of my dream destinations. When my friends told me they were planning their trip there, I decided to join them, without a second thought. Now I’m sure it was, probably, the best desicion I’ve ever took. Not only did I fall in love with this country, but my whole life started to change after that.
I’m not very good at writing, so I took as many photos as I could, trying to capture not only what I’ve seen but also what I’ve felt.
One thing I’m sure of, is that I left pieces of my heart there, so I’ll keep going back to find them.

Dictionary:

  • Hamada is a type of desert landscape consisting of high, largely barren, hard rocky plateaus. The largest area of the moroccan desert is a hamada.
  • Erg (also sand sea or dune sea, or sand sheet if it lacks dunes) is a broad, flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand with little or no vegetative cover.
  • Kasbah frequently refers to multiple buildings in a keep, a citadel, or several structures behind a defensive wall.
  • Riad is a type of traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. The term is nowadays often used in Morocco to refer to a hotel or guest house-style accommodation with shared common areas and private rooms.
  • Medina is the distinct old city section found in a number of North African cities. A medina is typically walled, with many narrow and maze-like streets.
  • Amazighs or Berbers are an ethnic group of several nations mostly indigenous to North Africa. Berbers mostly live in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, northern Mali, northern Niger, and a small part of western Egypt.

Marrakech, Ouzoud waterfalls

We left Athens at the end of December with horribly bad weather and we landed in Marrakesh on what seemed like a hot spring day! This was the first thing that made me feel like “home”. We stayed in the medina of Marrakesh for three days. We visited Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, the Photography Museum, the modern city and we wandered around the streets of the medina. We also took a day trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls.
I loved:
The hot dry climate
The terracotta colour of the buildings
The crouded medina and the Jemaa el-Fnaa
The differences between the medina and the modern city
The arts and crafts shops
The small friendly monkeys at the Ouzoud waterfalls

Atlas mountains, Aït Benhaddou, Aït Youl, Dadès gorges

We began our fascinating road trip to Erg Chebbi (Merzouga), crossing the gracious Atlas mountains. Beyond the mountains, a whole new world was waiting for us: The desert. For most people, including me, desert means sand hills. It was about time, to discover that desert has a lot of landforms that Ι would fall in love with. We visited Aït Benhaddou and we continued to Aït Youl where we would spend the night. The next day we visited Dadès gorges and we ended up in the magical Erg Chebbi, where we stayed for one night in a beautiful Amazigh camp.
I loved:
The view from Aït Benhaddou
The Town of Roses, Kalaat M’gouna
The town of Boumalne Dades
The town of Erfoud
The view from our hotel in Aït Youl
The desert (in all it’s forms)
The people of the desert
The small villages we met along the way
Τhe unearthly spectacle of the shinings around the Noor power station
The earthen abandoned houses and kasbahs
The old field of wells
The ride on the sand hills
The camp and magical night around the fire, with Amazigh music
The city of Errachidia

Moroccan deserts: Hamada and Erg Chebbi

Fes

I didn’t want to leave desert and for an unknown reason I wasn’t very excited to go to Fes. I loved the changes of the landscape and I enjoyed our stop to Cedar forest, but as we were getting closer to Ifrane, I felt like I was suddenly “teletransported” to Switzerland. I have to confess I didn’t like the scenery and I missed the desert even more. We arrived in Fes in the evening. We were excusted, but the next morning rewarded as. Unfortunatelly we left Fes quite early but we will definatley go back for more.
I loved:
The view of the medina from our riad
The narrow maze-like alleys of the medina
The arts and crafts shops

The journey continues…