So, as we said, Africa, again! We are back on the beautiful continent of Africa, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be back.
We arrived in Marrakech from Paris, which is always a treat as a stop-over. The city has some unique detail around each corner. The bright earth tones on the reddish pink clay walls make the perfect marriage of colour. Tiny mosaics in terracotta, turmeric yellow, and cobalt blue pop out as they clash with the clay. The tile work has been common through the cities we’ve visited, and are especially intricate around the sacred mosques.
Vendors crowd the walkways and the centre square becomes a lively marketplace each day. Large sacks of colourful henna line the edges of some stalls and others are adorned by hanging garments and finely woven textiles. And then, there are the fruit stands.
From Marrakech we traveled just over three hours southeast to Aït Benhaddou a UNESCO World Heritage Site Kasbah Aït Benhaddou. The former is the modern city where residents now live, while the later is only home to four families. Kasbah Aït Benhaddou is frequently used as a film and television set. Some popular titles include Game of Thrones, The Mummy, Alexander. It is also home to a few insta-famous back drops… but nothing like The Blue Pearl of Morrocco!
We spent a day out on the Sahara, the worlds largest non-polar desert. The wind wafted clouds of sand across the dues in the distance, and it was as if the red sand went on forever. It kind of does, it stretches across the entire continent of Africa, touching the Atlantic Ocean in the West, the Mediterranean Sea in the North, and the Red Sea in the East. When you’re standing in the middle of it, with a few camel caravans passing along the ridge of a dune it really does seem like the rest of the world is forever away.
Chefchaouen, The Blue Pearl of Morocco
If you have a look at the thumbnail for this blog, you will know exactly what we’re talking about! Chefchaouen is an entirely (okay, almost!) blue city. Light blue, bright blue, faded blue, white blue with the blue sky above it. It is the Instagram Capital of Morocco. Okay, maaaaybe we made that part up, but really, it is breathtaking, and quite the photo op!
No one really knows just why the city is washed in blue. Some say it was painted by people who fled the Spanish Inquisition and came to the city in 1492, others say it keeps mosquitos away. Another explanation is that it represents the sea, and alternately the sky and heavens above. Maybe it’s a little bit of both, who knows? But really, who knows!?
The markets in Chefchaouen were equally as eye catching as in Marrakech, and the vendors were offering similar wears – with a bit of a mark up, and a lot less heckling!
We’ve got more on Morocco for you next week and another team heading to Nashville for Summer NAMM! Let us know if we’ll see you there!