Monday, 16 April 2012

Camels and Kasbahs

Camels and Kasbahs, the theme of a great adventure that I have just enjoyed with my family.

We travelled to Morocco with Exodus  http://www.exodus.co.uk/families and joined three other like minded families on a mini bus tour.  It's only a short flight to this North African country but it is like going back in time. Berber men really dress like extras from Star Wars and there really are snake charmers in Marrakesh!


We flew to Ouarzazate a town nestled between the mountains and Sahara desert. This strategic location was controlled at the beginning of the 20th century by the Glaoui to intercept traffic on the saharan caravan route to West Africa.

We stopped at Kasbah Taourirt, a palace built to house many of the towns population at this time. The walls are made of local red clay mixed with straw (adobe) and blend in with the landscape. 



The kasbah consists of many individual ksours (family homes) linked by  twisted stairwells and dark narrow passages. The rooms are of different shapes and sizes all with low windows so that when the occupants sat on the floor to eat and relax the breeze from the mountains wafted in to cool things down.

This is the view through one of those windows.


Some of the larger rooms had ceilings decorated with cedar wood. The patterns were intricate and geometrically inclined. Totally unexpected in this palace of mud.



The children had a great time exploring and particularly enjoyed playing on the field gun that helped to secure the Glaoui stronghold.


 
The next few posts are going to turn into a sort of travelogue about the trip. I hope they will be of interest and maybe whet your appetite for an adventure of your own. We made a point of hiring guides in Marrakesh to teach us about local crafts and met lots of local artisans. I have lots of photos of their work and working conditions that I hope will inspire you as much as me.



5 comments:

  1. glad you had a good time, look forward to reading all about it! fab pics :)

    Beadingshaz@SPJewellery :)

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  2. It looks like you've had a wonderful adventure! I spent a couple of months travelling in Morocco (a long time ago), so your photos bring back very happy memories....looking forward to the next instalment,
    Liz x

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  3. I travelled there too many years ago. I actually met my husband on that trip. Not many things have changed except perhaps the hygiene levels. I didn't come home with dysentry this time!

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  4. It sounds absolutely fantastic Apryl, look forward to reading more about it!

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  5. Brilliant! Seems like a great trip.

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