Magical Morocco

It was time to burn up some annual leave in September, so we decided to fly to Morocco for a fortnight. Due to the usual pressures at work though, I only managed to book flights and hotels about two weeks before flying out, which meant that I was completely unprepared.

Thankfully I had a copy of the Rough Guide in my hand luggage and vague idea of what we wanted to see and do. The broad plan was to spend a few days in Marrakech, then travel to the Atlas mountains heading for the desert, and then finish off the holidays by the Atlantic coast…so far so good.

So we booked ourselves into a charming little riad called Villa Harmonie, somewhere in the old town of Marrakech. The place was that tucked away in a little alleyway of the medina, that even the driver from the airport had difficulties finding it!

As planned we spent the first few days in Marrakech, taking in the sights from the beautiful palaces to the Majorelle Gardens. Nothing had prepared me though for the big square, the Jemaa el Fna. I have never seen anything like it in my life! What a crazy, exciting, and amazing place! During the day there are mainly some snake charmers and guys with monkeys in the square, who let the tourists pose with the animals…for a small fee of course! But it is at night that the square really comes to life, with storytellers, musicians, food stalls and souvenir vendors. It is a smoke- and noise filled space of chaos which is bewildering and fascinating at the same time.

After a few days of the noise and chaos of downtown Marrakech, it was time to leave the city and head for the countryside. Katerine, the French owner of our riad, had arranged a driver who took us to the Atlas mountains and then the valley of the kasbahs. The following day we drove to Merzouga where we changed the off road car for some camels and rode into the Sahara Desert! What an experience!

Following three days of driving we spent the rest of the holidays decompressing in Essaouira by the Atlantic coast, which was a brilliant contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city. With so many impressions on every street corner I did go a bit crazy with the old Nikon. I took several hundred pictures, and I’m going to try and post just some of my favourites on here. Most of the pictures were shot with a 50mm lens on my D610. This is also the first time that I used Lightroom for a bit of editing.

Hope you all like the pictures. Let me know what your thoughts are. Cheers!

MWV

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