Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MOROCCO-THE TAURIGS OR BLUE PEOPLE

MOROCCO-THE TAUREGS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

This is The Road We Traveled Which Went On For Many Hours. We Climbed To 7,414 Toward the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass, Which is The Heart Of The Atlas Mountains. Please click once on pictures to enlarge

Highlight number 3. Visit to the Taureg tribe or the Blue People and a long ride through the Atlas Mountains to get to them! They are named Blue people because of the indigo blue scarves worn by the men to cover the faces and bodies. The women actually do not wear the scarves. Sometimes the blue stains their skin and creates an eerie effect. We were given a bit of information on this tribe of Berbers before entering their small villages located just beyond the middle Atlas Mountain range.

Entering the villages was like going back in time-kind of like walking through an old wild western desert town. The people were friendly and so kind. One little lady followed me around. She was shy of having a pic of her face taken but didn’t mind the pictures otherwise. They learn from the time they are children to greet the tour buses as we arrive to their desolate area. The air was filled with the smoke and scent of the tagines on the charcoal flames. The restaurant owners are actually preparing for the ‘chicken buses’ to arrive and bring Moraccans from the area into town. The chicken buses are aptly named because they are old retired tour buses, used now to transport people and livestock.

We Passed All Sorts Of Livestock Trucks Along The Way. Sometimes I had To Cover My Eyes When One Of Them Came Toward Us From The Opposite Side Of The Road. There Were No Security Rails!

Each Valley Was More Beautiful Than The One Before and Was Ever Changing

There Was Greenery

And Snow Capped Mountains

There Were Crystals Ready to be Plucked Out of The Ground

And Then There Were the Tuaregs. One of Our Taureg Guides

Berber's With Scarves for Sale Seemed to Pop Up From Nowhere in This Desolate Area

The Curves Continued

Shops Were Built into The Rocks

We Stopped in A Small Village and Met the Most Wonderful Berber People. This Little Woman Saw My Scarf Around My Neck and Motioned for Me to Put it Around My Head. I Followed Her Instructions and She Smiled at Me and Hugged Me and Then She Was My Friend for Life-Or Until We Left The Village Anyway.

This Village Was a Stopping Point for the Notorious 'Chicken Bus.' The Bus Stops For Travelers to Barter, Trade, and Have Lunch. The Tagines Were Fired Up at Every Corner (2)

Zack Made Friends with This 'Blue Man' Earlier But I Thought it Worthy A Picture Here.

Here is Another Younger Woman I Met In The Village

A Few Hours Later, And More Steep Highway, We Finally Came to the Film Capital of Morocco-Quarzazate. We Passed the Now Defunct Hollywood Set.

Next, Ait Benhaddou, a kasbah famous for it's filming of Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. This Was My All Time Favorite Place in Morocco (Outside of the Dunes)

A Stream Separated Part of The Village

This Picture Was Taken by Zack. He Was Shooting From Inside One of The Rock Crevices

While Zack Was Taking Pictures Elsewhere, I was Welcomed by Mohammad. He Couldn't Pronounce My Name So He Called Me Fatima-A Common Female Name Here

Mohammad Invited Me Up To His Home Within The Rocks-And I Went! (Kind Of Like-Let Me Show You My Kasbah- style) It Was A Very Trecherous Path Leading Up and Up

Along the Way, He Let Me Take A Picture of His Pointy Shoes. They Reminded Me of Aladdin and The Magic Carpet.

Upon the Path I Met An Interesting German Man Who Came Into The Village Via A Motorcycle-He Was A Stunt Man. He Was Having Trouble Climbing Up The Stone Pathway and Said to Me "These Boots Are NOT Made For Walking." He, Mohammad and I All Had A Good Laugh At His Sense Of Humor

Stepping Stones-In This Case-Sand Bags- To Return

From Another Angle

Mohammad and His Wise Words, Sweet Smile and Kind Manners

One of the Berbers Said to Me- "You Have The Beautiful Watches That You Wear, But WE have the time.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

MOROCCO-PART 2-THE MEDINAS

MOROCCO-THE MEDINAS

Every Spice Imaginable Is Sold In The Medinas. I Love The Way They Are Piled High

Second on my list of highlights during my trip to Morocco are the Medinas. What are Medinas exactly? Many of the cities in Morocco have a wall that surrounds the interior of the city, It is where the market vendors from time untold sell and sold their goods. We visited a goat market where goats are bartered and sold, a sheep and donkey area as well. (one of the female members of our group was offered 5,000 camels to her family if she would marry him!) Even before we entered the gates of each medina, we could smell the aroma of all of the meats, herbs, spices, leather and many unfamiliar scents as well. Zack and I visited the medinas of Rabat-capital of Morocco which lies on the Atlantic ocean-It is a fortified site. Tea leaves are a specialty there. ‘Mint tea is the Moroccan scotch’ as one Moroccan told me.

We walked through the Medina of Marrakesh-the ‘red city’ and Djemia El-Fna square. Fez had a large open market as did Casablanca, which means the ‘white house.’ We entered by the clock tower. Casablanca has the tallest mosque in the world which can be seen from the medina. This Certainly helps those who are lost find their way back out. So, sit back and enjoy your walk through ancient and present Moroccan Medinas. You will feel like you have gone back in time.

This Is A More Elaborate Way Some Of The Spices Are Sold

These Are The Largest Strawberries I Have Ever Seen

Goat Market Where Moroccans Barter and Buy Goats. There Are Sheep and Donkey Markets As Well

Zack and Friend, Sammi, Try Out A Popular Donut. It Tastes Like A Combination Donut and Pretzel

Camel Heads-I Could Not Even Look At That Booth But Zack Took Picture.

If You Felt Sorry For The Camels On The Dunes-Don't. They Have A Good Life Compared To This

Goat Heads

Work Donkeys Were Passing Us Constantly As we Strolled Through The Medina. When They Come Through, Someone Will Yell 'Balam'So We Know To Move To The Side

This Shows How Narrow and Crowded the Aisles Are-Not For The Claustrophobic

Herb Shop Within The Medina

Work Bike-One of Many Seen

Herbs Are Sold Everywhere-Especially Mint

Metal Lamps Are Very Popular In Homes and Hotels

Orange Cart-The Best Oranges I Have Ever Tasted-So Sweet

Here Some Moroccan Woman Rest From Shopping

I Found The Moroccan Woman To Have A Wonderful Sense Of Humor. This Woman Is Selling Her Peacocks

This Pretty Donkey Doesn't Look Like It Has Done A Days Work In Its Life

They Make A Special Sweet Bread And Set Up Work Stands Everywhere

We Passed By This Very Tiny Barbershop
Meat Sales Are Everywhere

This Man Is Washing Clothes

The Olives Were Absolutely Delicious!

This Is A Passageway To Homes Within The Medina. The Exterior Walls Are Painted Blue Because We Were Told It Repells Mosquitoes

Almonds Are Grown and Very Popular In Almond Delights Like The Almond Cookies We Ate. Very Rich

Soaps Sold For Dishes, Clothes and Skin

Food Is Cooked In Traditional Tagines-Many Are For Sale Everywhere

More Spices

Zack Standing By Copper Booth

And Yet More Spices

Each Medina Has A Unique Gate Entrance

We Had A Nice Lunch On Rooftop Restaurant at Medina in Marrakesh With Our Newfound Friends, Sammi and Her Mother Julie From England

Horse and Cart Ride Back To Hotel

Very Scenic and Peaceful Ride Back

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