Office Trip Reports

Mark and Alison Nolting in Morocco – “Toes in the Sahara Desert”

Morocco!  Contradictory and beautiful – a land where medieval and modern blend together to delight the senses. Mark and Alison Nolting and their two sons, Miles and Nicholas, spent the Christmas and New Year holiday in this magical country. Enjoy their pictorial trip report.

First day in Casablanca

Mega mosque
Imagine Miles and Nick feeling small
Habous area
Dinner in the medina at Sqala

Arrived Marrakech

Marrakech square Djemaa el fna
Walking into the souks in Medina
Sardines .. whiffs

Mellah area with spices

Jardins majorelle – Yves st Laurent home
Arriving at our hotel – in the Medina and kasbah
Traditional hamman spa – haha Mark and I had the scrub down! The hotel entrance – Riad La Sultana

Departing to Ait Benhaddou today

Out and about in Gueliz having lunch at Grand Cafe de la Poste
On the rooftop of fashionable El Fenn looking towards Atlas Mountains where we going next
A handsome Seville orange in the garden of La Mamounia
The two tag alongs did 8 hotel and riad inspections today

Stunning views enroute to High Atlas

Our wildlife sighting – mountain goats
Tagines viande on the menu tonight
Berber figs

Finally here at the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou
Many movies made here including Game of Thrones
Entering a Kasbah                           Given the key to the door
This was a major stopover for the camel caravans bringing salt, gold etc from Niger & Mali and meeting the spice and silk nomads from the North

Today we visited Quarzazate and Skoura Oasis

Kasbah Taourirt was an old Pasha home
Feeling like we in a movie with all the film studios around
An old German canon given to the Pasha – boys and their toys. The local guide Aziz gave a great tour
Down in the Skoura Oasis valley
Winding down olive grove road to Kasbah Dar Ahlam

Another inspection                                              Great guest relations who grew up in the oasis
Overripe dates for picking                                           Piscine at Alkababba
Deux piscine at Dar Arhlam                                        Invitation for Moroccan tea
Setting sun on New Years Eve
Ringing in the New Year with a show at our Riad Ksar Ighnda

Absolutely brilliant time visiting Tinghir, Erfoud, Merzouga and our Sahara desert camp

Valley of Roses
Fertile valleys around every mountain pass
Berber girl portrait Berber Mums posing at the Gorge near Tinghir
A nomadic Berber and her herds
The donkey taxi Choosing our camel to ride into camp
Full moon rising as we arrived A half hour later and the mood was epic
Some desert harmony
Our caravan of camels to do the sunrise ride and we watched the moon dipping down too
Desert Bandits

Well worth the 7 hour winding drive to have the classic pose the next morning!
Possibly fennec fox?

Our final countdown – in Fez

The Meeting at the Palace gate – late in traffic so missed our appointment by a few minutes with King Mohammed VI
The Bab Bou Jeloud – Blue Gate entrance into old Medina

Medersa Bou Inania – where they stayed and studied in 13 the century. Merenid architecture
University of Al Karaouine – oldest university in the world dating back to 9th century
Fondouk Nejjarine museum – the merchants stayed here overnight to barter
Selling walnut bark – use as a lip balm
Ceramic workshop Art Naji Serrafine souk – pounding brass and copper
Silver teapots – mint flavor rules
The souq has three tanneries – the Choura is oldest
A new appreciation for Medina doors

Escargot soup – smelt so delicious Saffron couscous – off to dinner at Riad Fez
Nourdine was our guide for the day – very interesting with all the history facts
Buying cherimoyas – delicious sweet and juicy fruit from Peru. The favorite of our guide
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