In fact, I took lots of video because it never felt like the pictures were doing justice for the entire experience. Hopefully, I'll eventually edit together a few of the clips and be able to give you the sights and sounds of our journey. I'm still waiting for the video that also has smell because I feel that even the video might not cover the whole deal.
But, I want to use some of my favorite pictures to show you the beauty of Morocco.
|Inside the Bahia Palace, we found some amazing tile mosaics. This was one of my favorites. I love clean lines and repeating patterns, so all of the tile work was right up my alley!|
After spending two days in Marrakech, we hired a private tour guide to take us to a few places around Morocco. Our first stop was Casablanca, an urban jungle filled with loads of traffic and cars that honk the instant the light turns green! The city itself is just okay, but the world's third largest mosque is located here and that made the trip totally worth it.
This is the Hassan II Mosque, third only in size to the one in Mecca and the one in Medina, both in Saudi Arabia. In Morocco, non-Muslims are generally not allowed in mosques, with the exception of this mosque in Casablanca and one other mosque elsewhere in Morocco. This mosque was built by former king, Hassan II, beginning in 1987. It only took 6 years to build, but 10,000 workers worked in round the clock shifts to speed up the completion.
|This mosque is capable of holding 25,000 people at one time and almost all of the materials used to build the mosque came directly from Morocco.|
|This is the interior of the mosque. The ceiling of the mosque slides open when the weather is nice to allow for ventilation, since there is no air conditioning in the building! Yowser! I bet it gets hot in there in the summer, especially if it rains!|
|Another shot of the exterior. I'm totally loving the geometry!|
|Our tour guide, Mohamed, who was amazing by the way, stopped along the road on our way to Casablanca. I took this picture, which has turned out to be one of my favorites from the trip.|
On the second day leaving Marrakech, we made a quick stop at the Jardin Marjorelle. This is a small garden that was owned by Yves Saint-Laurent and houses a memorial to him. His ashes are either somehow buried in the memorial or were scattered in the garden. I've heard both things, but don't know what's the truth!
Then we headed towards the Ouzoud Cascades and other parts of the geologic park.
|Here's my foot right next to the footprint of a dinosaur...fossilized from about a zillion years ago. This place is called Iouaridene and I must admit, I'm a bit of a skeptic.|
But, the valleys and mountains here were pretty spectacular, so it was well worth the bumpy ride out into what was seemingly the middle of nowhere.
|I caught this picture somewhere along our journey on this day.|
The cascades themselves were also amazing. Kate and I hiked down a somewhat steep and muddy trail with a local guide and crossed some surely soon-to-break bridges to get to the base of the falls. Then we joined Mohamed for lunch at a cafe overlooking the falls. The sun started shining just at the right time to catch some images of afternoon rainbows and monkeys trying to steal our lunch.
|Ouzoud Cascades. WOW!|
|the old and the new|
|Now I can officially say that I've seen both sides of the Atlantic.|
Along the way, we stopped at a women's cooperative where nuts from the Argan tree are processed into fabulous cosmetic products. Heard of Moroccan oil in the US? A tiny bottle will cost you several of your hard earned dollars, and the oil itself is not pure.
|At this shop, we were shown how every part of the nut is used and then tried out the various products.|
|Here the women are grinding the nuts down to be used for oils, creams, and even edible products.|
|Here's to our trip on the Marrakech Express!!|