Morocco, Travel companies and tours, Travel diary

Moroccan magic: gladiators and film sets

I decided to tour Morocco with Travel Talk tours. We had been staying in a gorgeous hotel in Marrakesh. We managed to set off late. Daylight savings had started, and there’s always someone who mucks it up! After dragging a group of befuddled boys out of bed, we were off.

We slowly drove through the High Atlas Mountains. I wasn’t expecting to ever see snow in Morocco, but there was plenty of it! We even stopped for a snowball fight. Abdoul explained that this road never existed, and was only built once Morocco was colonised by the French in the early 1900s.

We stopped at a local souk, and stood out like sore toes not just throbbing but on fire. The locals watched us wander through their market with interest. It was amazing to see the kinds of things people would buy in everyday life, from tagines to goats heads. Such a contrast to the souks built around what westerners would want.

After lunch, we arrived at a famous kasbah. So many movies have been filmed here, and there is a production company down the road. Abdoul listed off some of the films, such as Gladiator, The Mummy, and Game of Thrones. There are other kasbahs built around this area, and would have been the way a village lived, built onto a hill, with a grain store at the top.

I bought a beautiful pyroaquadelle painting. A white piece of paper is held over a flame and reveals a hidden picture. They used to use this method to pass on messages, and it was magic to see something appear on the page. They then added some finishing touches of colour, and I was the proud new opener of a 20 dirham piece of art.

Our hotel that night was stunning, set around another pool, and looking out over the surrounding area. It was a bit chilly for a swim still, but some people braved it!

It was a fabulous place to stop on our way into the desert. If you want to break up your trip, or just see this incredible location, I would 100% recommend adding it to your itinerary!

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