Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco 446,550 kmhas a population of about 34 million. Its capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca. Since 788 the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties. They struggled against foreign domination, and remained the only North African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. In 1912 it was divided into French and Spanish protectorates with an international zone in Tangier, but regained its independence in 1956. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Arab, West African, and European influences.
Morocco has borders to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, to Spain in the north (Strait of Gibraltar), Algeria to the east, and Western Sahara to the south. A large part of Morocco is mountainous, basically with the Atlas Mountains in the center and the south, and the Rif Mountains in the north. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people. At higher elevations, the climate becomes alpine in character, and can sustain ski resorts. Most of the population lives to the north of the mountains. The south-east part of Morocco is very hot, and includes portions of the Sahara Desert, where vast swathes of sand dunes and rocky plains are dotted with lush oases.
My camera: Sony RX100V compact camera on stabilizer

Old town in Fes
Morocco, November 2017

Fes has one of the most interesting Medinas/Souks in Morocco. No motorbikes or cars are allowed – in contrast to Marrakesh where you have to watch out for speeding motorbikes.
 
We visited a “typical” Moroccan house where we were served mint tea brewed the traditional way.
 

Volubilis – Ancient Roman City
Morocco, November 2017

Volubilis is a partly excavated Roman city near the city of Meknes. Built from the 3rd century BC onward as a Berber and Phoenician-Carthaginian settlement. From the 1st century AD it expanded rapidly under Roman to cover about 42 hectares (100 acres) with a 2.6 km (1.6 mi) circuit of walls. 

Around 285 AD the city fell to local tribes and was never retaken by Rome because of its remoteness on the south-western border of the Roman Empire. It continued to be inhabited for at least another 700 year.
The ruins remained substantially intact until they were devastated by an earthquake in the mid-18th century . Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meknes Bab Mansour Gate El Hedime square
Morocco, November 2017

Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco, and the sixth largest city. Founded in the 11th century as a military settlement, Meknes became capital of Morocco under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail (1672–1727). He turned Meknes into an impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today.

The town of Essouira
Morocco, November 2017

During a 2-week tour to Morocco, we booked a day-tour from Marrakesh to Essouira on the coast.  Many celebrities has stayed in this famous beach resort. The town is relatively clean and has fresh air from the Atlantic Ocean.

The famous Norwegian Torbjørn Egner got his inspiration to “Kardemomme by” from this place.

Argan Oil factory and shop
Morocco, November 2017

During a 2-week tour to Morocco, we booked a day-tour to Essouira on the coast.  On the way we stopped at an Argan Oil factory to see how the made the oil.

Marrakesh to Zagora – stopping at Ait Ben Haddou
Morocco, November 2017

During a 2-week tour to Morocco, we booked a 2-day Zagora Sahara tour. We started early morning from Marrakesh, had a few stops including lunch in Ait Ben Haddou on our way, and arrived in Zagora before sunset.

Bedouin Camp in Sahara
Zagora, Morocco, November 2017

During a 2-week tour to Morocco, we booked a 2-day Zagora Sahara tour. We started early morning from Marrakesh, had a few stops including lunch on our way, and arrived before sunset.

Staying overnight in a “primitive” Bedouin camp was really nice. After our bus round trip to the major cities in the north we finally had the feeling we were in Morocco!

Next morning we climbed the nearest hill to watch sunrise over the sand dunes.

Zagora to Marrakesh – stopping at Ouarzazaste 
Morocco, November 2017

On our way back from the desert we had a short stop in an antique shop in Zagora. Continued to Ouarzazaste to visit a resored fort and a film museum. There are several large film studios in the area used by international film makers. Many famous movies are filmed here.
We stopped for lunch in the same restaurant in Ait Ben Haddou on our way back.

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