We left our hotel at 7:30am to head out to Marrakech. We drove through the city of Boumalne Dades and headed west toward the Atlas Mountains. We made a stop in the city of Ourzazate (“whar-zuh-zat”). The city has 3 studios that had previously been used for movies. One of them was called Oscar Studio. They are converted Kasbahs used for filming. Pretty cool!! Oh, and I held a snake!
We drove over the top of the Atlas Mountains reaching an altitude of 7,400 feet. It was cool to see the road below!
As we descended, we stopped for lunch at a small place on the side of the road. It was a welcome stop for several people because the road down the mountains was a bit scary for some. I’ve been on more dangerous roads and honestly I think I slept through a lot of it so I was not really phased. We enjoyed a lunch of meatballs in a sauce/blend of onions and spices. It was followed by orange slices with cinnamon sprinkled on top. The cinnamon here is not as strong as the cinnamon back home so it’s actually very tasty!
As we continued to descend, there was more and more greenery and we began to enter the plains. Also, the temperature began to drop. While we were in the dessert, the highest temperature I saw was 43 degrees. But in the plains it dropped to a more comfortable 28. Since I’ve been traveling quite a bit since last year, I memorized the conversion formula from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
C x (9/5) + 32 = F
So 43 would be: 43 (9/5) + 32 = 109.4
If you know me, you probably know that I can’t go outside in this heat. Not because of the heat, rather, my skin is extremely sensitive. So I’ve been doing my best to be completely covered up. So the drop in temperature is good!
We arrived to our hotel in Marrakech around 4 where we had an hour to freshen up and then go out to shop. Our Tour guide took us to a store where I’m positive he gets a kick back. My good friend Jane was just here a few weeks ago so she recommended a private driver. I spoke with him while I was at the store and he told me that the specific store I was in had things marked up significantly because they do in fact give guides a commission. So I didn’t buy anything there and thanked him for the intel. I only bought wine across the street from a liquor store. After shopping we all returned to the hotel and we got ready for a dinner out. We met up at 7:30 and drove to the Souk. We walked in and saw the masses of people beginning to appear. There are hundreds of stall selling everything under the sun. It’s amazing! Our tour director walked us through it all and then we ended up at the restaurant. We had a lovely dinner with entertainment! At the end of dinner we all walked back through even larger crowds and had a horse & buggy ride back to our hotel. It was a great evening!
Have passport, will travel.