Morocco! (Part 1 of 4)

Every place we have visited has been different, but Morocco was different-er than the rest.  We didn't know what to expect, and this country kind of blew us away.  So many different things to see and do.  Wow.  I'm going to try my very best to give you a good idea of what we saw...

We flew into Marrakech late Saturday night after a short layover in Madrid.  We weren't able to get an earlier flight, so we missed exploring the souks in the city.  We woke early the next morning and hit the road towards Bivouac Merzouga and the Sahara.  But, first, Ourzazatte and the many kasbahs (large family homes) along the way.  The villages along the windy Atlas mountain paths were something like we've never seen.  Built out of straw and mud, rising from the sides and tops of mountains, having been there for literally hundreds of years, untouched by time and modern conveniences.  These Moroccan Berbers live off of the land, growing only what they need to survive and trade for goods. We stopped at a small souk (below) where Poppy picked up a rug and the girls were taught how to properly put on a scarf.  This guy was so sweet and helped all 4 girls with their scarves...the Moroccans have the most humble, kind and friendly manners.

Tessa is the cutest!  She sat totally still for this part and we had to buy that orange scarf so we could remember this moment.  Check out all of the goregous colors going on in the background too...I love it!

Berber village in the Atlas Mountains

We drove 9 hours on day one to make up for a lost day of travel.  But, that accounted for lots of stops for pictures.  Poppy bargaining on a rug (below).


We ended at the Dades Gorges...stunning red rocks (and similar colored houses) dotted the hills.  We stayed the night at a hotel right here in this valley (below) and woke up to snow!!  

You can't see the snow, but its coming down on us and the landing of our hotel.  Check out view too!

Aren't these villages amazing?! This one is nestled into a massive gorge and is totally remote. 

Tessa was a favorite of the locals.  In the cutest way possible, all of the men just wanted to hold her and get two seconds of attention.  But, she wasn't having it most of the time.  She was pretty tired of the extra attention from strangers by the end of our trip.  Still, it was really fun to see the differences in our cultures and appreciate what we could learn about it.  Below is one of our drivers, Mohammed, trying to get a hug.

Todra Gorge was a massive opening with sheer red cliffs and a river dividing it in two.  Our drivers let us out of the car and we walked the entire length and crossed the river too.

On our way to the desert.  A quick stop along the way to discover how water was transported from the desert oasis to villages many years ago.  

Inside the tent, where we were offered typical Moroccan mint tea and an opportunity to buy some souvenirs ;). 

Next stop...the Sahara!