A Morocco and Sahara Desert Adventure, February, 2004

Updated: 30 Aug 2015)

I have not had time to edit and explain all the pictures from our exoitic, Overseas Adventure Traval (OAT) trip to Morocco. It is no surprise that in building Epcot center Disney chosed Morocco to represent the Arab world. It is such an enchanting land and the people are just marvelous. I have tried to present some History and Culture but you will have to forgive me for any errors or omissions.

Our plane landed in Casablanca - Bogie never slept here - and after a walking tour we were taken by bus to Rabat, the capital of Morroco. In Rabat we were first introduced to The Tea Ceremony which we were to witness everywhere we went.

We then left the Atlantic coast and drove in land to the agricultural region where we visited Volbulis, an ancient Roman town. The Roman empire has facinated me since I studied Latin in high school and now I have seen its ruins all around the Mediterranean.

Moulay Ismail, around 1672 was instrumental in raising Meknes to the rank of an imperial city..

Fez is the embodiment of the country's histry and its spiritual and religious capital. It is not surprising that it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Map of Morocco

We then headed south to the Sahara desert for three nights of camping in the desert.

After leaving our tents in the Sahara we drove across the Stone Mountains and were more than ready, and greatful, for the warm rooms and showers in Tinehir. We toured the city and then drove into the Atlas Mountains to Gorges Tudra. That evening, before dinner, the ladies had their hands decorated with Henna. The following day, although it was cold and raining, we again went into the Atlas mountains to Gorges Dades and then had lunch with an iman.

Our journey next took us to Ouarzazate an ancient caravan stop and city made important as an outpost of the French Foreign Legion.

Alt Benhaddou, an ancient Berber city and the site of many movies, was as much like a fantasy land as we could hope to see.

When we finally arrived at the fabeled city of Marrakech, it was like having finally arriving at the Emerald City in the Land of OZ after traveling for weeks on the yellow brick road. Here the souks and sites are just magical.

Our four day post-trip took us to Essauira, a Portugese city on the Atlantic ocean, a mule safari through the Atlas mountains, and the Cascades d'Ouzoud.

My pages are photo intensive and may take a long time to
download depending upon the system you are using. But I
am sure it will be worth your time.

Casablanca - or, Bogie Never Slept Here

Although he stared in the movie, Humphrey Bogart never set foot in Morocco.

Naturally, every flight leaving the United States for Africa leaves at sundown

We arrive in Morocco at sunrise and are introduced to the beaches of Casablanca

We are taken to a restaurant overlooking the ocean and
a cold early morning wind blows across the Atlantic as Fran is
served hot mint tea and pastries

After a long flight Fran is entitled to more than one pastry

Bob discovers it is orange season in Morocco

The Mosque of King Hassan II is the only mosque in Marocco which is open to non-Muslims.
King Hassan II was a beloved king and the mosque was built as a gift to him in 1993 for his 60th birthday.
It accommodates space for 20,000 male worshipers. The women's gallary holds 5,000 female worshipers. It
has a sliding roof that can open in 3 minutes. The pillers are covered with plaster that absorbs
moisture from the sea so brass does not tarnish.

The Mosque of King Hassan II is the 3d largest Mosque in the world. Minnesota Twins
eat your heart out. The cedar roof over the main portion of the Mosque can be retracted
in three minutes and closed in two.

Delicate tile work on the Minaret on the King Hussan II Mosque. Green is the
color of Islam and that is why all the tile is that color.

Tile work on the Mosque

Interior of the Mosque. In the center of this picture is the niche which, in
this part of the world, is always located in the western end of the prayer hall.
If you face the niche when you pray you will always be facing east toward Mecca
which is an Islamic requirement. Believe it or not, in Minnesota the niche is
located so the faithful face northeast over top of the globe to Mecca. To
the right of the niche is the Minbar, or pulpit, which is decorated with verses
from the Koran. This Mosque will accommodate 20,000 male worshippers while another
80,000 can pray in the surrounding area.

Men and women do not worship together in the Mosque. On the second floor, and
hidden from view, is the women's gallery which has room for 5,000 worshippers.

Beautiful cedar geometric artwork on the ceiling. This is only a tiny part
of the cedar wood carved ceiling in the Mosque of Hassan II. Imagine this
in three dimensions if you can.

Family in the park in Casablanca

Flowers in the market

Vegitable market

Meat on the hoof in the open market. But note it has been inspected and has a bar code.

Fresh fish neatly laid out for sale

Come back again, these pages are still under construction.

Links to other Moroccan Adventures:

If you have any questions, or comments, I would be interested in hearing from you. Just let me know.

This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

Bob at Grand Tetons, 2015
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015

Since September 4, 2005, you are visitor number

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