Morocco - our 7 days trip in january 2018
Marakesh - Tinghir - Canyon Todra - Merzouga - desert Erg-Shebby - Ourzazate - filmstudio Atlas
🇲🇦 I wanted a trip to Morocco for a long time. In general, I love the eastern countries for their color. It is unfortunate that the all this news about terrorism left a mark on our attitude towards Muslims. As said: "the sediment remained". But I always knew that I would definitely see this country in the near future. And it turned out, almost unplanned. Wintering occurred in Tenerife, and to Morocco was very close.
We flew to Agadir. From Tenerife you could alsol fly to Casablanca, but we did not fit the dates. Either in Marrakech, but with a pause in Madrid about 4 hours, which meant losing almost all day and adding 30% to the budget of tickets. Therefore, we flew to Agadir, where we booked a car for rent, so that we can go to Marakesh. The purpose of our trip was the desert - Merzouga. But since from the main cities it is at a distance of about 1000 km, we decided to expand the route and see something else).
🚗The route for Morocco, we meda for 7 days.
1⃣ Day. Arrival in Agadir, transfer to Marrakesh - 3 hours, 250 km.
2⃣ Day. Full day in Marrakech for a walk around the city.
3⃣ Day. 600 km to Tingir, have a night there.
4⃣ Day 4. We see the Todra Canyon. Drive to Merzouga.
5⃣ The day in Merzouga. Accommodation in a camp
6⃣ Transfer to Urzazate. Visit to the Atlas film studio. Night in the hotel at the studio.
7⃣ 🏁Transfer to Agidir. Departure back to the Canary Islands this time to Gran Canaria, where we decided to spend 2 weeks.
The flight from Tenerife to Morocco went well. A little worried that the transit to Gran Canaria is only 1 hour. But we checked the baggage immediately to Morocco, and our exit was only 15 meters from the entrance to the terminal, there was also a passport control post. From Duty Free we did not get anything, there was only a machine with sandwiches. The thought of taking a couple of bottles of wine in the luggage was very correct. The plane is small, but only 1:30 from Gran Canaria.
✈For passport control, you need to fill a paper with the data and the name of the hotel. Control was not quick, but without unnecessary questions. For Russian visa is not needed for a short period of time. The luggage was waiting for us. Luggage was checked on the tape, they asked about the drone, which we did not have, apparently, they are prohibited there or there are some restrictions. 🚗Went to take the car. In the middle of the process we were told the story that the car was ordered, and in the morning it got into an accident, they can not give us a beat car, so the other one will arrive in 1h. Then the waiting time was increased (We were offered to go to the gas station where there is a cafe. It was like driving our 6 pieces of luggage and 3 backpacks into the car, we were taken to a cafe, the car with things was closed and left to wait. Therefore we waited, ate, drank, it was an hour and a half ago, I forgot, in the beginning, we wanted to leave some of the luggage in the safebox in the airport, but,it was not there, so we went to stuffed with junk. 🗻 Halfway on it turned dark. There was a very gentle pink sunset that so the reddish mountains made even redder. In the distance, snow-covered tops of mountains higher.
When we arrived to # Marrakech was already dark, we reached the parking, where the guys began to wave their hands, they say, do not drive further, park here. There were 15 minutes of misunderstanding and bidding. We were told that our hotel is near, but only by foot. Part of the baggage we left in the car in the hope of truth in the Internet, that in # Morocco directly frankly do not steal. Honestly, without the guys, we would not have found our hotel, bc it was a small metal door in almost deaf narrow alley (it turned out that they were forbidden to make large normal signs because it was an old city). To guess that there was something inside would be impossible.
💸But when we came to the hotel, our guides wanted payment for their work, in general, it was expected ...
In this case, the money that we gave them, it was not enough, because from somewhere there were two more gentlemen, claiming for the award. "There are four of us - pay four, we held you, provided you with security and guarded you." We had to give them 20 dollars, and this is not so that it's not enough for # Morocco. Of course, this left a residue.
Most hotels in the old city (# Medina) are called #riads. The building with a courtyard. In the circle of this yard there are rooms in the walls. I really like their interior. A lot of greenery, different accessories, pads, lamps, etc. A cozy and colorful place is created. I was satisfied with the hotel.
🍞🍰🍪Breakfast was Moroccan, which means buns, other buns, still buns of the third kind, more bread and jam and butter. And, of course, the orange fresh. ☕Coffee is soluble, bc they have no coffee culture. But Moroccan tea with mint, always, please. It should be noted that in some cafes, such tea was very vigorous, the devil knows what they put there, but it feels like you can get an overdose of caffeine.
I did not like the city at all. The old part of the city is very dirty, shabby. No, such garbage is not lying and there are no smells of vile, but everything is so untidy, uncomfortable, there are some sort of trash on roads. I expected much more.
🍸As usually in a Muslim country, alcohol is simply not sold. I read a lot about clandestine sales, sales of local alcohol, etc. But we chose a simpler way - 5⭐ hotel, which has a bar and restaurant. French influence left its imprint, and Morocco is still making wine. Wine is so-so. They also have their own gray wine, they call it that. In colora, it is a little pale rose. The French already do not do this
🕌Jam'a al-Fnaa Square,
which everybody advises to visit, we also visited, but quickly retreated from there, bc there was too much molested, and it was time for lunch. On the square we tried pomegranate juice, which seemed quite tasteless to us. And I could not stop from trying the date fruits that there were about 12 varieties in the shop. I took each one by one, but I was not enough for everything, too sugary.
The area is very large, considered one of the main attractions, included in the UNESCO list along with the old city. Once there they traded slaves and made public executions. Now here is the market, snake charmers, women paint hands with henna. In the evening life rages here, and "crooks" are much more. But we did not go there at night))
Spices of Morocco
🌈There are a lot of shops with spices.
I wanted to bring curry, because I really love this seasoning. Passing by the next shop, I was interested in these colorful stones. The seller offered to take a picture, and at that time he began to talk about the incense that they burn. It turned out that this stone, most likely, something resinous, once smoldering and smoky. Something reminded me of rosin.
🙏If someone knows what kind of stone, please write. Very interesting.
🍵Then we went on to talk about the Moroccan tea, which is sold in a mixture. And then to the tasting of this tea. Looked at how to make oil from argan. We were also given a taste of eucalyptus. Perhaps this was the most interesting shock. It is a granule, like a large sea salt, with a very strong smell, from which watery eyes. You only need one granule per cup of tea, or a bath. Have brought a little). Of course, they took several kinds of curry and a sweet very fragrant paprika. I also took soap. Somehow I had such a tradition that from every trip I bring a piece of soap. Now, for example, is Balinese. Soap I use rarely, so with 2-3 trips a piece is more than a year. Soap Moroccans make a fragrant, some smells straight really liked. We gave for all about 80 dollars. As a gift, we were given a ginseng root for men 😌, and for ladies a bottle of argan oil😃
🍽The menu in restaurants is rather meager, it's almost the same everywhere. The kitchen is very spicy and sweet. Many meat dishes contain cinnamon, sugar, date fruits, raisins. Not my eat (🍽What can be distinguished from the dishes:
🍲Kus-kus - everyone knows porridge. With vegetables or meat / chicken. Vegetables are fairly milled.
🍲Tajin - baked meat in a special earthenware dish.
🍮Pastilla - This is a puff pastry with chicken, for example. BUT with cinnamon and a lot of sugar. For an amateur. My friends liked it, but I do not accept it at all.
🍅Maroccan salad - several variants of vegetables of different processing in separate cups.
🍜Maroccan soup (Harare) - must be on the meat broth, but many are cunning. Vegetable soup with chickpeas, lentils, vegetables. Not bad.
7⃣ days was enough to knwo moroccan food. I think that in the Moroccan cuisine I have quenched my thirst for 20 years for sure.
🗻On the photo are Atlas mountains, and yes, we are in Africa)
🏜Our goal of trip was the desert - Merzouga. Despite the fact that sand dunes occupy an area of 50 to 5 km, this is part of the Sahara, which occupies the territory already 10 countries.
Since childhood, the desert has always been endless burning sand for thousands of kilometers ahead, where the daytime temperature reaches 50 degrees, and the sand is heated so that you can fry an egg in a frying pan, placing it on the sand.
After studying the question more closely, it turned out that the minimum temperature in the Sahara is at night and -18. In the summer, it is really hot.
But the Sahara is not an endless sands. There are completely different landscapes, including mountainous and stony landscapes.
The fauna was spoiled by people.
Exterminated almost all who could be ( From Marrakesh to Merzouga to go decently (slightly less than 700 km), so we broke the way overnight near the town of Tingir. The road goes through the Atlas Mountains.
You look at them and you think I'm in Africa! Why the snow, damn it?
Infinite serpentines almost all the way, road works are going on somewhere, the road is in potholes and mud.
🐫Local color of traffic signs.
Merzouga is a city that is only 50 km from the border with Algeria. That's how it looks in the Old Atlas language - ⵎⴰⵔⵣⵓⴳⴰ.
The same desert is called Erg-Shebbi, but for some reason it is customary to call this place by the name of the city. At all 110 square meters. km. there is a small lake that appears during the rainy season. And at this time there you can see a lot of pink flamingos
🦄 All life here live Berber tribes.
Perhaps you've heard about the Tuareg, it's also Berbers. And as you can guess, the word berber has occurred similarly to the word barbarian. In Tingir we were taught a couple of words: Vaha - okay, Saha - thank you. I hope this is not some curse)
Todra Gorge near the town of Tingir
We reached the city of Tingir and stopped for an overnight stay.
🍳The next morning, eggs were given to us!
🍷By the way, we bought alcohol all the days ahead in Marakesh in Carefur - it's a French network, the choice is good there. I also grabbed cheese and pâté from rabbit and chicken for breakfast, or the buns are already boring
Near the city lies the Todra Gorge.
It's just gorgeous, it's a pity we did not have much time, and it was cold in the morning. A real miracle of nature. The light here is magical. In Morocco as a whole, the light is wonderful and somehow very correct.
🏜Having seen the barkhans had to turn off the road to nowhere - there was no further road.
At random moved to the point on the map. As normal Russian, we did not even look for where everyone goes, but waved right through the sand barchan, well, it's not for nothing that the jeep was taken!
Yes, jeep cherokee - the horror of the suspension, as on the couch.
⛺And here is our Kemp) More photos from the Erg-Shebbi desert by link. The guys were surprised, saying that usually no one comes here on their own. As we understand later, everyone is taken to the city, then on camels to the barkhans. Suitcases are driven by a car. And you're on a camel 🐫, like a real Bedouin come to your camp.
And what to do in the desert?
Entertainment is not so much, but a couple of days is enough.
🐫Camel safari is easy, at dawn and sunset. 20 minutes one way, 20 back. The cost is 20 e / person. 40 minutes is enough to enjoy this entertainment)
🏍Capture on ATVs
🏂Sundsurfing - boards and boots are given for rent. You are looking for a barkhan higher and more abruptly, climbing on it and forward. Wheelchair is not very good, but excellent cardio
🔥In the evening the staff lights up the bonfire and sings berber songs to you, playing on national instruments: drums, tambourine and something like maracas-cymbals. Then they call on everyone. It was cold and to go dancing and jumping to this cacophony of sounds was an ideal idea, however very tiring, the rhythm of music almost does not change)
🏜 Walking in dunes
🌄Sunrises and sunsets - a game of light and shadow magic. The colors are unreal beautiful. The dunes turn bright red in the rays of the setting sun. The dunes become clearly visible. And then the entire sky is painted pink and purple.
🌌Stars - such a sky that at first you run into a stupor. Without the slightest highlight, the sky is simply teeming with stars. I saw the bow of Orion!
We took our vine, bedspreads, dressed warmly and went into the dunes. To look at the stars. The truth was at two o'clock in the morning it was quite cold and we moved to the tent.
🐫🐫🐫I want to share my impressions of the camel ride.
To sit on a camel, he is forced to sit soft pats and persuasions, no orders. They have very soft wool.
During the walk, the camel periodically pulled its snout to my leg, at that moment it became very uncomfortable for me. Look at his teeth!))
And the rest is nice and funny. But it is extremely difficult to imagine how huge distances intersected on camels, it must be wildly tedious. They are very slow, though hardy.
🦄In the desert, incredible light at sunset.
On the barkhans near the camps there are chairs for contemplating the sunrises and sunsets. And you can endlessly watch the wind play grains of sand, sort through them and slowly-slowly change the landscape.
The desert, of course, is beautiful, and at least once in life it is necessary to visit it. But I still like the sea the most.
We stayed in the desert for two days. Bundles imported Chinese, other foreigners were less. Mostly everyone came in the evening to sunset and left in the morning after breakfast. This we could not understand at all, because at least a day here you need to spend, take a walk on the barkhans, collect full sand boots, pogarat on the board for snowboarding.
We have two days left in Morocco. The way back we paved on a different route through the city of Ourzazat, which is famous for the film studios there.
The way back to Agadir (from where we were due to fly to Gran Canaria) we laid through the city of Ourzazat, which we were attracted by the studio. In the hotel at the studio we decided to stop. The hotel was very nice, we proabgrejdili room before the suite. Swimming pool, outdoor tables, a bar where alcohol is poured, a restaurant with a large menu, a zone with a fireplace, and all the walls of the hotel are covered with posters of films that were shot on the Atlas studio of the same name.
The hotel is called: Oscar Hotel by Atlas Studios
To the number are also attached free tickets to the studio.
🎬Film studio Atlas
Many films were shot here. Mummy, for example. Cleopatra with Monica Beluchi, Games of Thrones, Gladiator, Troy, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Kundun, Pearl of the Nile and many others.
😲To me it was some kind of wild revelation.
As if you were told for the first time that Santa Claus does not exist. I really thought that they make films in old cities, in old houses, palaces, castles. That on the shelves are real old folios, the columns are painted with real Egyptian symbols, the walls of castles of real stones and stones, and behind the walls are real rooms, dwellings with their own interior.
Almost everything is foam, plastic and gypsum. Decorations are erected no more than 3 months and then used many more times for other films. Small movements, details, light and you can shoot no longer Mummy, but something else. The Chinese palace is there too, for the film Kundun. Just there all the books in the polystyrene racks. When asked why to go from China to such a large number of people to shoot 15 minutes of the film, to build a palace, our guide replied that there was a surprisingly good light in Urzazat. Plus a very bright blue sky, which ideally replaces the green background, so that you can impose later, for example, rain. And that's true, the light is perfect, and the sky is just incredible. With the guide, we were very lucky, the guy always joked and told about the shootings and what actors he saw.
A scene from Asterix and Obelix, where they are floating on a boat, was shot completely on a green background. In the studio there is only a boat. The castle that participates in the shooting of the Throne Games, on the other hand the castle from Troy. A wall of foam, painted under a stone. Behind the wall there are forests for workers and all. You walk and do not believe.
Such a sky can not be shared. We are still at Atlas Studios in Urzazate. In the distance, you can see the castle, which, according to the guide, participated in the shooting of the Games of the Thrones.
In the morning we went to Agadir, where we settled in the hotel on the ocean with all inclusive. In the hotel, most of them were pensioners. in Agadir there is a very long promenade, on which there are sunbeds, and walks on camels. Fearing an infection, we bought an antibacterial gel and used it constantly, but Morocco managed to break us up with some sort of intestinal infection.
And at the airport of Agadir with us there was a preponderance for one extra baggage space, for which we had to pay 200 euros. At the same time it turned out silly, because. two bags could be rolled together (regardless of weight), but one bag was already sent by tape)
That's all about Morocco. I do not know if I'll decide to go there again, the country is clearly not mine, but it seemed that everything would be different)