Winding through the Atlas Mountains

The next morning we were picked up by our driver Kamail and so we said our goodbyes to Marrakesh and started day 1 of our 3 day journey through the High Atlas Mountains our final destination being Fes with a stop over in the dessert.

We made a few stops along the way.. see those winding roads down below, the particular spot was called Tizi and Tichka .. and we wound all the way up them.. at high speeds. We had no internet the next few days.. we all got a lot of reading done.. napped at intervals and tried to keep the nausea at bay.. seriously.. I'm not one to get nauseous.. but all the spiraling up a mountain got my insides all squirming.

That brown structure far in the distance is Ksar of Ait Benhaddou. It is a traditional mud brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has been featured in many films, mostly as a replacement for Jerusalem. It has appeared in more than 10 movies, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Below is a close up. We didn't visit it.. just observed from a distance.

Above is a picture taken outside the Atlas Film Studios. Once again we didn't take the tour.. but many many movies like Gladiator, The Mummy, Spy Game, Lawrence of Arabia etc have been shot here.. 

At the end of about 6 hours we reached Skoura where we were to spend the night. We had hired our driver via a company called Dessert Luxury Camp and the stay in Skoura was included in the package. So we expected a basic hotel.. one step above a motel. So imagine our jaws dropping yet again when we pull up to this beauty

Our room was a two bedroom, with a tub large enough to fit the whole family and a large siting room. 

After welcoming us with mint tea and cookies we were taken on a tour of the property where they grew a variety of herbs, vegetables and had 100 year old olive trees.

While we were freshening up for dinner we heard a squeak squeak.. we narrowed down the noise to the fire place and guessed it might be a baby mouse? Not wanting to make a big deal out of it.. we just made sure to close our bedroom doors and headed out for dinner. 

Once again our hosts were so nice and friendly.. dinner was wonderful. 

A side note: There are cats everywhere.. especially where you eat.. cat's just sit by your table and stare at you.. our ground floor room's window was left ajar and a cat tried to jump right in.. we shooed it away and closed all the windows and snuggled in for the night.. but there was one persistent cat that started to loudly meow and claw at the window.. and squeaking in the fireplace hadn't ceased. M wondered out loud.. "what if the squeak was a kitten and not a mouse?" we called the front desk. Out of the fireplace emerged.. wait for it

four kittens :)

The next day after breakfast our driver picked us up again and we started day 2 of our 3 day journey.. through the High Atlas Mountains.. 

 A stop at the Todra Gorge and then a lot of driving.. until we finally reached the Erg Chebbi dessert. We spent the nigh there.. and I'll share more from the dessert in next week's post.

On the 3rd day we woke up in the dessert and after breakfast we continued on the rest of our drive.. the longest one so far.. a total of 7 hours to Fes with a quick stop at the Valley of Palms.

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  1. What an amazing trip, I'm in love with the architecture, just like the greens and blues in the first photos.

  2. I would have been nauseous for certain! The architecture is magnificent! Love all your photos, Hena.

  3. Gorgeous photos! Looks like an amazing trip!

  4. I think this was the coolest part of your trip. What a great place to explore and stay out. My husband would called that road twisties; he loved twisty roads when he used to ride.

  5. And thank you for your visit today. Yeah, hemming is blah but my cardstock ruler helped a lot and I would get all of the ironing and folding up done at the ironing board.

  6. oh gosh, I don't do heights well. I would have been a mess. :) I just love the photo you took outside the Atlas Film Studios! What a neat trip!


  7. What a fun trip...I can't believe you found cute!!!
    And your photos just make me smile!!

  8. What an incredible trip. I would love to go there!

  9. Geez.... that windy road is heart-stopping! I'm not a fan of heights, so I know I would have had totally white knuckles throughout the entire drive.

    I can't get over how luxurious your accommodations have been. ...and those kittens!! :D

  10. Looks like your family had some fun adventures in the Atlas Mountains!

  11. What a wonderful trip! Those view are amazing and would love to stay where you stayed. I love cats but now sure I would love them everywhere. Thanks for sharing these great pics!

  12. Another amazing adventure! Love where you stayed as well! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  13. That place you stayed in is supposed to be a "step above a motel"?!?! Wut?!?! I can live there!
    What an awesome trip you guys had over the break, Hena:) That's great that your kids are so well-traveled at such a young age.

  14. Oh my goodness!!!!!
    Thank you for sharing these amazing photos of your wonderful trip!!!!

  15. What a fun adventure! That hotel looks amazing and I would be in HEAVEN with all the cats :). Baby kittens coming out of the fireplace? Yup, sign me up! Your boys are so adorable and I love how much they soak up these experiences!

    Susie |

  16. Wow what an incredibel place to visit, I love these photos! Looks like you guys had a great time

  17. Looks like such a fun adventure. I love all of your photos so much :)an ideal place to go on holiday.

  18. That must be an amazing experience
    I love adventures like this

    Much Love,
    Jane | The Bandwagon Chic

  19. it seem amazing place !!! and pictures are wonderful.Lovely family you have.

  20. What an adventure! That winding road is really something.

  21. What a cool trip for your family! It looks like y'all had so much fun!

  22. Wow, so impressive!
    Lovely family and adorable kittens!
    Kisses, Paola.


  23. Seriously sooo beautiful there. I love all the photos!

  24. Wow!! Really I would like to come there :)

  25. Wow this looks absolutely incredible! Your family looks gorgeous too. Thank you so much for sharing hun.

  26. I love these photographs, you guys are all super cute! This looks like a wonderful place to visit, and I can definitely imagine taking a trip to the mountains one day.

    Have a great week!

    Amy; Wandering Everywhere

  27. This looks amazing and it looks like you all had such a fun time!


  28. Fantastic fotos! You and your family had a lot of fun. Very, very nice.
    Hugs, Christine

  29. Wow, what a great looking trip and such fun pictures too!!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

  30. what's up with all the mint tea ;) The cat thing is weird but my husband loves cats so maybe he would love kittens in a fireplace. Lovely photos and what a happy family!!

  31. Look at those gorgeous views!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  32. Looks like fun! Love all your photos!

  33. wow looks like an amazing time! your family is beautiful!


  34. this sounds and looks really amazing! and oh goshh, those kittens! xx

  35. Such a great post! I just love your photos. The food looks delicious and it looks like so much fun ;)

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