Christmas! . . . and some musings

Christmas Day we decided we’d like to go up in the mountains and see if we could find snow. Marrakech is very red (It is known as the “Red City” or “Ochre City”).

Marrakech from the rooftop pool of our hotel

Marrakech from the rooftop pool of our hotel

Marrakech from the rooftops

Marrakech from the rooftops

Roses were everywhere! This is in the median.

Roses were everywhere! This is in the median.

The earth, the buildings, even the animals (sheep, cats, goats, dogs) are stained reddish. It took 2-1/2 to 3 hours (only 1-1/2 on the way back by a different road) on tiny, sometimes dirt and often 1-way roads winding up and around (the road less traveled?),

As we headed up to the mountains

As we headed up to the mountains

This was a tiny little auto mechanic where we got air for our tires

This was a tiny little auto mechanic where we got air for our tires

Fog in the valley

Fog in the valley

Atlas Mountains

Atlas Mountains

but we found snow!

SNOW! Skiiers were out on it.

SNOW! Skiiers were out on it.

Gabe in the snow, and see the tracks of skis?

Gabe in the snow, and see the tracks of skis?

It was amazingly refreshing and felt quite exotic to be in snow in Africa!

It was amazingly refreshing and felt quite exotic to be in snow in Africa!

Magnificent!

Magnificent!

Panoramic view on the way back down

Panoramic view on the way back down

Skiers were out and there was a chair lift to the top (but not for skiing, you rode it around and back down!). Even here we were hounded by men (mostly) trying to sell jewelry, “authentic” amethyst geodes, and sweets. We went to a little café for more traditional Moroccan food that was recommended by either Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor. It was a gloriously beautiful day!

Baubles on the branches at the cafe where we got lunch.

Baubles on the branches at the cafe where we got lunch.

Our waiter coming out the door

Our waiter coming out the door

I believe it was in Marrakech that we were told no buildings could be higher than the minaret of the grand mosque, so nothing was higher than 5 floors. Christmas dinner was eaten at “Level Five” a restaurant on the 5th floor not far from the hotel.

This is a country of such contrasts, as I think about it. We had free wifi almost everywhere we went, but on our way up the mountains we saw people hand tilling and animal plowing fields. Egrets would thoroughly dot the fields white in the freshly tilled soil. All throughout Morocco we saw shepherds with their flocks of sheep (all of which had tails), goats, or cows. Some were on cell phones, and many were right next to the roads, even the highways. I was also interested in the aqueducts that seemed to be alongside all the roads.

Roadside aquaduct (yes, it looks more like a gutter, I know.)

Roadside aquaduct (yes, it looks more like a gutter, I know.)

Up in the mountains they were rushing with water, and it appeared that was the main source of water for households. Vast fields were planted with prickly pear cactus, especially between Casablanca and Marrakech. Of course there were also endless fields of olives and argon trees. I still can’t tell the difference between the two. When we went to Volubilis we saw them harvesting olives by laying tarps under the trees and then beating the branches with long sticks.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kalilraina
    Jan 10, 2015 @ 13:15:30

    Wow! Snow on Christmas in Morocco! Not what I would have expected!

    Reply

  2. adriannderson
    Jan 10, 2015 @ 17:42:22

    I love the beautiful views in your photos.

    Reply

  3. Jim and Helen Webb
    Jan 10, 2015 @ 23:32:48

    Beautiful variety. Good you went to the snow. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  4. Liz Mitchell
    Jan 13, 2015 @ 21:22:17

    Snow? The snow pack on Mt. Hood is slowly building…Thanks for including me on your adventures!…Liz Mitchell

    Reply

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