Thursday, 3 October 2013

Morocco In 21 Photos

I like to blow the dust off my old travel blog from time to time, and a recent trip to Morocco has provided an excuse to do so. Seeing as the internet is increasingly list-based, I've jumped on the bandwagon and present my Morocco in 21 photos. It was an 11 day holiday at the end of September which took in Marrakech, Zagora (The Sahara), Essaouira, Oualidia and El Jadida.

It was a lot of fun, I'd recommend Morocco to anyone. Unless you're a nervous car passenger in which case the taxi drivers will give you a heart attack. Their method of overtaking and weaving through traffic owes a lot in its style to Formula One.

Morocco probably isn't for you if you like a holiday tipple either, it's an Islamic country so they're not big drinkers. However, any health benefits they gain from this, they eradicate by drinking a ton of sugary mint-tea and by smoking at every opportunity. I choose a land with beer and my own teeth when I'm 50.

Anyway, this is meant to be a photographic thing, so enough waffle.

A colourful light stall in the mazy souks of Marrakech. (Photo taken by my Hungarian friend Tomi)

Ali ben Youssef Medersa, Marrakech - was founded in the 14th century as a school for Islamic studies. No longer operating as a school.

A couple of hours south of Marrakech on the way to the Sahara.

Ait Benhaddou, an old Kasbah that has been preserved and proclaimed a UNESCO world heritage site. More importantly, they've filmed Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and Game of Thrones there, so you can run around and shout: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

Rug on a wall at Ait Benhaddou.

Camels in the Sahara. Luckily there is no photo of me actually riding the camel. They are not comfortable and I can see why cars were invented. Also, I got the angry camel that didn't want anyone riding it.

I travel light.

The Djemaa El Fnaa in Marrakech at night when all the food stands arrive and it fills up with people looking to eat various grilled meats on sticks.

I got a job on one of the food stands. I give you good price.

The first evening in Essaouira was an amazing sunset. The sea breeze of Essaouira was a welcome relief to the heat and madness of Marrakech.

One of the prettiest cinemas I've ever seen, in Essaouira. Price of a ticket included a meal and a drink too.

I was told this cat is called Fleabag by a drunk Scotsman in Essaouira who had a great singing voice and kept a bottle of whisky in his back pocket.

At the fish souq in Essaouira. Essentially a fish market used by the locals where you can pick a freshly caught fish, have it gutted in front of you and grilled in an oven in the corner of the market. Tasty.

Essaouira had good sunsets so I took some more photos...

Only one reason why I took this photo: cheap comic effect.

Moroccan pottery of assorted shapes, colours and sizes, Essaouira.

Dinner in Oualidia. Straight out of the sea, onto a barbecue, onto my plate, into my mouth.

The lagooon in Oualidia

This is the Portugese Cistern in El Jadida. Orson Welles filmed Othello here.

Luckily for the fishing boats below, this cannon in El Jadida's Cite Portugaise has not seen any action for a few years

Storks nesting on the walls of the Bahia Palace, Marrakech.