AIT BENHADDOU

We left the serenity of our Berber Village and headed towards Ait Benhaddou.   On the way we stopped at Taourirt Kasbah.   Originally built in the 19th century, the Taourirt Kasbah was owned by the el Glaoui clan, a family that had a powerful stronghold of one of Morocco’s most significant southern caravan routes to West Africa. This power and wealth made the clan one of the country’s most influential families. Its most notable member was Thami El Glaoui, also known as the Lord of the Atlas, who was the Pasha of Marakesh between 1912 and 1956.

The tour was fascinating showing us how the domestic wives lived and then the harem upstairs.   There were many rooms some very small and verandahs where the women would sit and watch the goings on in the square below.   “Jewel of the Nile” was filmed around this area and it looked just like a scene from the movie.

Ait Ben Haddou is probably most famous for many of the scenes from the movie Gladiator as well as many other movies.  It is, however a traditional Mud Brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains where people still live today.

It certainly is an impressive site.   We climbed up the hill through the old town up to the ancient granary (agar). The views here are breathtaking.  Our guide told us there are six families still living here and the mud covered walls and narrow laneways made you feel like you were back in the early centuries.

Once down the hill we headed back to the souk but got caught in a sand storm.  Wow it was incredible.  Sand in our eyes couldn’t see, had to find a shop to go into until it settled down.  Certainly needed a shower that night.

Driving towards Marrakesh our most anticipated destination we stopped at a local food market.   What an amazing site this was.

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Next morning we headed off to our final and certainly the most anticipated destination – Marrakesh.

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