Shannon Fennell's Blog

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My Moroccan Adventure: On the Road from Erfoud to Ouarzazate

On March 29th we left Erfoud and hit the road to Ouarzazate.

This area is very rich in fossils and they are everywhere on sale, on display, used as decor.  I got this photo as we drove by.Dinosaurs

There were several spots with T-Rex mock-ups.  Most of the actual fossils I saw were ammonites and other lower orders.

These mounds are abandoned wells and there were miles of them.

Abandoned water wells

We stopped at a roadside shop (that’s it behind the camel) and display of Bedouin culture.  The camel is a yearling and was very sweet.  I’ve decided I love camels.

After Erfoud

We stopped overlooking the Dades Valley which was spectacular.

Dades Valley 1Dades Valley 2

Dades Valley

It was a challenge to get my photos taken without people walking into the shot or vendors getting in my way trying to sell me something!  But I managed most of the time.

We then drove on and stopped at the Todra Gorge… really impressive and so overrun with tourists that I could not get a shot without them in it!

Todra Gorge

We then went to lunch at a hotel which was very picturesque!  The Hotel Kasbah Lamrani.

We ate seated around the pool on the patio which was a beautiful setting.

We then continued on the road towards Ouarzazate.

On the way we stopped to visit with an Imam and had tea with him and his wife.  They had a beautiful kasbah which had been in the family for three generations.  He taught religion and his students live there while studying. His  brother is creating a Berber museum on the premises too.  We were told there were 15 family members who lived there.

The interior was the original building which is 185 years old and the outer had just recently been added – I think they said 2005.  This is the original door on the old building.

Imam Home (4)

The Imam’s wife made us traditional mint tea, which was the nicest I had while there.


We all then had a chance to ask them questions. He explained, with Najib translating, the five pillars of Islam.  It was very interesting and was a very nice visit.

Imam and wife

We arrived in Ouarzazate late afternoon and checked into the Berber Palace which is a quite spectacular hotel.

My room is straight ahead, in the low building, right there – the closest to the main building.

Ouarzazate (8)

We had a couple of hours to relax before dinner so I commandeered a lounge by the pool and dozed for a bit.

Ouarzazate (7)

Ouarzazate is considered the movie capital of Morocco with several movie studios and lots of purpose-built sets in the area.  The hotel was themed with lots of movie props decorating the lobby, old posters, etc. heavy on the Egyptian theme.

This was the only hotel, or restaurant, that had pork! There was parma ham at dinner and for breakfast pork sausages and very pathetic looking bacon – it appeared to be boiled. I wasn’t expecting to see any at all so having it was a nice treat (didn’t try the bacon…)

Next post will cover the drive to Marrakech.