Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

rock the kasbah

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
Sharia don't like it Rockin' the Casbah Rock the Casbah

Morning drive through the 'Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs', many oasis towns with their ornate mud and straw kasbahs zipped by our sight, but we didnt stop for any photo opt. One of the places that drew me to maroc was the kasbahs, so I was sourly disappointed. I've asked Aziz if we could stop for one. He took us to Amridil. A perfectly preserved Kasbah that was even featured in the 50 dirham note and in a local orange drink cartoon. The kasbah guide, much like all the local guides we had in Maroc, was very animated and funny. He showed us the courtyard, with palm trees, olive presses and butter churners doubled as baby rockers, the kitchen with 2 bread ovens, the berber one for the family and the indian one for guests/banquets, and the interior mosque. The kitchen had a sky window to the terrace and on the terrace, our guide looked down the window to the kitchen and shouted "Ma, I'm hungry. Oh it's Ramadan!" and we all laughed. The terrace was the perfect spot to admire the mud walls and the crenellated towers architecture of the kasbah. My desire to visit a kasbah was finally satisfied. The midday took us to Ouarzazate and we had lunch at a restaurant terrace that was across the road from the Ouarzazate abandoned kasbah. We went for a pharmacy after lunch where I've purchased some argan lotion for my dry skin and amber/cederwood oil for my headaches. The pharmacist explained to us each product they had and what they were good for. Some of us had a 5 mins neck and shoulder massage for 20 dirhams. We arrived at Ait Benhaddou just as the sun was about to set. The hotel Kasbah was within 2 minutes walk to the Unesco Heritage Site. My room although an OK size, had a little balcony that faced the back of the building but surrounded by walls so high, there's absolutely no view. The water in the bathroom was salty. Later we walked down the path to visit Ait Benhaddou. A very old man with a high pitch voice, who carried a stick came up to us and oh, he was our local guide! And he would hit us with the stick if we didnt keep up or listen to him. another funny maroc character. the kasbah looked mysterious and nostalgic basked in late afternoon sun. next to the main gate was an empty sandy area which was used to film the Gladiator arena. up on the highest point of the kasbah, we could see the entire compound, its mud structures with towers and gates, and look back at the new town. at dusk, the place was so serene and cool, and the late afternoon rays turned all the buildings to golden color, such a feast for our eyes, one wished never to leave.


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