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Mark and Alison Nolting in Morocco – “Toes in the Sahara Desert”

January 5, 2018 According to AAC's Consultants

Morocco!  Contradictory and beautiful – a land where medieval and modern blend together to delight the senses. Mark and Alison Nolting and their two sons, Miles and Nicholas, spent the Christmas and New Year holiday in this magical country. Enjoy their pictorial trip report.

First day in Casablanca

Mega mosque

Imagine Miles and Nick feeling small

Habous area

Dinner in the medina at Sqala

Arrived Marrakech

Marrakech square Djemaa el fna

Walking into the souks in Medina

Sardines .. whiffs

Mellah area with spices

Jardins majorelle – Yves st Laurent home

Arriving at our hotel – in the Medina and kasbah

Traditional hamman spa – haha Mark and I had the scrub down! The hotel entrance – Riad La Sultana

Departing to Ait Benhaddou today

Out and about in Gueliz having lunch at Grand Cafe de la Poste

On the rooftop of fashionable El Fenn looking towards Atlas Mountains where we going next

A handsome Seville orange in the garden of La Mamounia

The two tag alongs did 8 hotel and riad inspections today

Stunning views enroute to High Atlas

Our wildlife sighting – mountain goats

Tagines viande on the menu tonight

Berber figs

Finally here at the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou

Many movies made here including Game of Thrones

Entering a Kasbah – Given the key to the door

This was a major stopover for the camel caravans bringing salt, gold etc from Niger & Mali and meeting the spice and silk nomads from the North

Today we visited Quarzazate and Skoura Oasis

Kasbah Taourirt was an old Pasha home

Feeling like we in a movie with all the film studios around

An old German canon given to the Pasha – boys and their toys. The local guide Aziz gave a great tour

Down in the Skoura Oasis valley

Winding down olive grove road to Kasbah Dar Ahlam

Another inspection – Great guest relations who grew up in the oasis

Overripe dates for picking – Piscine at Alkababba

Deux piscine at Dar Arhlam – Invitation for Moroccan tea

Setting sun on New Years Eve

Ringing in the New Year with a show at our Riad Ksar Ighnda

Absolutely brilliant time visiting Tinghir, Erfoud, Merzouga & our Sahara desert camp

Valley of Roses

Fertile valleys around every mountain pass

Berber girl portrait Berber Mums posing at the Gorge near Tinghir

A nomadic Berber and her herds

The donkey taxi Choosing our camel to ride into camp

Full moon rising as we arrived A half hour later and the mood was epic

Some desert harmony

Our caravan of camels to do the sunrise ride and we watched the moon dipping down too

Desert Bandits

Well worth the 7 hour winding drive to have the classic pose the next morning!

Possibly fennec fox?

Our final countdown – in Fez

The Meeting at the Palace gate – late in traffic so missed our appointment by a few minutes with King Mohammed VI

The Bab Bou Jeloud – Blue Gate entrance into old Medina

Medersa Bou Inania – where they stayed and studied in 13 the century. Merenid architecture

University of Al Karaouine – oldest university in the world dating back to 9th century

Fondouk Nejjarine museum – the merchants stayed here overnight to barter

Selling walnut bark – use as a lip balm

Ceramic workshop Art Naji Serrafine souk – pounding brass and copper

Silver teapots – mint flavor rules

The souq has three tanneries – the Choura is oldest

A new appreciation for Medina doors

Escargot soup – smelt so delicious Saffron couscous – off to dinner at Riad Fez

Nourdine was our guide for the day – very interesting with all the history facts

Buying cherimoyas – delicious sweet and juicy fruit from Peru. The favorite of our guide