Into the Atlas Mountains

21:51 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

After a day exploring & shopping all around Marrakech, we wanted to see more of the landscape of Morocco. The Atlas Mountains not only gave us a look into a different terrain than the dusty city streets of Marrakech, but also gave us more insight into the history and different cultures of Morocco.

The Atlas Mountains are home to many Berber people, who while are originally indigenous to all of North Africa now reside in large numbers in Morocco and Algeria. The Berbers maintain their own language, which has recently been added as one of Morocco's national language in order to help preserve it.

 So, we set out on an easy hike up to one of the villages on the mountains to visit a village home, have some traditional Moroccan mint tea, and have what turned out to be a feast. Since you can't drive up to the higher villages, we were dropped off somewhere not too far down the road from Richard Branson's Moroccan retreat. The roads aren't paved, rather large rocks & dust, so we walked carefully for 20 minutes or so before we reached our destination.

It was worth every step - the view from the balcony of our afternoon rest point was beautiful. Mountains and villages in the background, and oh so much sun which I have been missing as autumn & winter have come to London.

Our first order of business was making our own tea. After a quick lesson, we had the first batch around. It was delicious, but they certainly do like their tea sweet. We sat and enjoyed (and napped), then were fed copious amounts of food. Lots of veggies to start, followed up tagines full of more vegetables and chicken. When you're in Morocco, it's hard to find dishes not from the tagine, but they are certainly good.

 With full stomachs, it was time to finish our hike, walking around the rest of the village and a bit further along the mountain. Despite the arid climate, there were trees and plants everywhere, and streams running like life springs through the mountain. With the fall foliage just starting to appear on the trees, it was like a Bob Ross painting waiting to be painted. An oasis nestled between the peaks.

Then, just like that, we found ourselves back on a dusty road headed towards Marrakech.

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