Travel Day: On the Road to Marrakech

Travel Day: On the Road to Marrakech

Back into an area travelled a few days ago, the return journey reveals new vistas, new perspectives and offers new opportunities.

The rocks are red, yellow, maroon, cream and green on this southward facing side of the High Atlas and are often volcanic; further evidence that this area of Africa is close to a major converging plate boundary. Busy and active village and agricultural life and activities on the valley floors and lower slopes continue to fascinate and intrigue.

Aït Benhaddou is a magnificent Kasbah that once stood guard over the main route between Ouarzazate and Marrakech; it’s set magnificently on the far bank of a river, beneath a mesa backdrop. A World Heritage Site, it’s easy to see why it’s been used for many big screen film sets.

Once inside Aït Benhaddou, you instantly travel back in time. Narrow lanes meander around and ornate architectural features in mud and wood can be appreciated everywhere. Some traditional homes can be visited and many artisans can be seen at work, as ladies weave rugs and men work at art. Ascending to the Kasbah’s high lookout point atop the mesa gives fantastic views in every direction.

The journey continues up and over the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass (2,260m) and on to Taddert, today’s lunch stop.

The journey towards the Marrakech Plain zig-zags down the north-facing slopes of the High Atlas. There is the opportunity to study incised river systems and meanders, the result of isostasy. River cliffs and slip-off slopes can be readily spotted, which are also the action of river processes. 

The twists and turns of the road diminish and you’re back on the flat Marrakech Plain once again, amongst the hubbub of colourful, clamorous Marrakech.

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