Walking about in the main square of Marrakesh – through the Medina and down the narrow alleys of the souk one can still get a flavour of the ancient days.
The second Kasbah that we visited out in the Sahara the other side of the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh was the most picturesque Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou.
It was basically a fortress built on a hillside that seemed to be made of red tinged mud. It had a fabulous setting and I can see why it was used in many films.
Our first sight of it was awesome.
Walking up through the narrow passageways one did get a feel of the danger of those olden days. It seemed defence was always the first thought. Trade must have been a dangerous business.
I was so impressed with the architecture and beauty of this Kasbah. You got a glimpse of history as you walked through its lavish rooms with their decorated ceilings. I could imagine them seated on their couches, laid back with hookahs, with music and dancing, a feast in front of them, making deals, entertaining and pulling out all the stops to impress.
An older Kasbah whose mud walls are melting back into the ground
Today is magic day.
On a planet,
Around a sun,
Walking among the trees,
Warm and comfortable,
Listening to birds,
Watching bees –
It’s magic day.
Every day is magic day.
Opher – 13.5.2019
Life is magic. It is incredible. To think we have evolved, developed consciousness and live on such a beautiful world where we can appreciate it.
Every day is truly magic.
As we drove down from the Atlas mountains into the Sahara region we could see this great bright light on the horizon. It looked so bright even in the bright sunshine. It appeared to be a large tower far away with an incandescent structure on top – like some modernistic lighthouse.
It was Morocco’s most incredible $9 billion dollar solar energy project – producing enough electricity to power an entire city.
Built on an area of more than 3,000 hectares in area – the size of 3,500 football fields — the Noor-Ouarzazate complex, produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Prague, or twice the size of Marrakesh.
Thousands of mirrors focus heat on to the tower which houses salt. The intense heat actually melts the salt and the heat is used to generate electricity.
Not only that but when the sun goes in the tower can still generate electricity for a further three hours. Thus alleviates one of the problems of solar power (that it only works when the sun shines).
Morocco already produces 35% of all its electricity from solar and is aiming to increase that rapidly to 42%.
We just need the rest of the world to catch up!
It was quite an amazing sight – I just wish we could have gone closer!
It was great to see it along with some ruins from a bygone age – the future and the past clash:
While it was burning hot down in Marrakesh there was snow on the mountain peaks.
The road up through the Atlas Mountains was winding and steep. It largely followed the trails that the caravans had used, except now there were no caravans and the road had been considerably developed and much work was being carried out to make it wider still.
This route connected Marrakesh with the Tourag communities over on the Sahara side. All along the way were little Berber villages with their fields and agriculture.
Even though we were on the tarmac road it wasn’t hard to imagine what it would have been like trekking across these cold and barren mountains on a camel – quite a contrast to the heat of the Sahara on the other side. But this was a major trade route and Marrakesh was the destination.
The mountains had a rare beauty with their contrasts of greens and browns and the snowcapped peaks.
Along the way were stalls selling luridly colored geods and fossils.
We took a camel ride out into the desert around Marrakesh. As we swayed and rolled our way out the landscape changed.
Marrakesh is a huge sprawl. In the suburbs there are many open spaces all are trash heaps with piles of rubble and the odd dusty palm tree clinging on. But further out it is different. There are many palm trees. It gave you the impression of what it must have been like at the beginning, when Marrakesh was a small city, a trading post, and the camel trains came in from over the Atlas mountains.
There was a great beauty to the landscape which made me sad for what has been lost and spoilt. We are so thoughtless and careless with what is precious.
There was a village nearby with people out grazing sheep and cattle on the arid vegetation just as they have probably done for hundreds of years.