Aït Ben Haddou

The beautiful earthen clay architecture seen here is part of this UNESCO-designated fortified city (or kasbah or ksar).  Aït Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate province at the edge of the Atlas Mountains has been used as a set for many films including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and The Last Temptation of Christ, and more recently on Games of Thrones.

We went for a nighttime walk when arrived into the old city with flashlights (as there are no street lights.)  We met this guy who invited us to his home for tea, music and jokes.  We promised to return the next day to take a look at his shop.

And of course he charmed us into buying stuff.

The same type of mud bricks that comprise the original fortress are still used for building.

Tommy atop the kasbah

A view across the dusty town from the terrace of our guesthouse looking towards the fortress of Ait Ben Haddou.

Group selfie with Tommy and Lily

In order to arrive in southern Morocco and the Sahara from the cities in northern Morocco, we had to cross the snowy Atlas Mountains.  The day before, the highway crossing the mountains had been closed due to the snow.  Our bus ride took four hours longer than expected due to the wintry road conditions.  It was a harrowing ride with lots and lots of switchbacks.  Many of the Moroccan locals spent the better part of their bus rides in the mountains getting sick into plastic bags...but the views were gorgeous. 

Napping may be the best way to get through a long bus ride and to ignore the awful sounds of the retching of fellow passengers.

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