My travels to Morocco in 2014 – part 1
I have just come back from a trekking expedition in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
This is not the first time that I have been to Morroco as my previous blog shows:
I was aiming to climb the highest mountain in the Atlas Mountains and also the highest mountain in North Africa.
The mountain in question was Mt. Toubkal at 4167m. It is located 63 km south of the city of Marrakesh, in the Toubkal National Park, and is a popular destination for climbers. Toubkal National Park was established in 1942, it covers an area of 380 km2. The first known ascent by Europeans was on 12th June 1923 by the Marquis de Segonzac, Vincent Berger and Hubert Dolbeau.
The mountain is not technical for climbing however it is steep and the ascent is hard going. During the winter, the mountain is icy and thus crampons and winter climbing skills are needed.
I flew into Marrakesh airport that is now served by budget airliners from the UK. However, I decided to fly business class as I am somewhat special.
After checking into my hotel I went over the map again to make sure that I knew where I was going.
I decided to spend a few days here to look at the sights and sounds of Marrakesh.
First on my wishlist was to see the Jemaa el-Fnaa square. It is part of the city’s medina that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The square and market place is in Marrakesh’s medina quarter known as the old city.
It remains the main square of Marrakesh, used by locals and tourists.
Here one can buy fossils, souvenirs, carpets and other tack. Snake charmers and dancers here demand money for souvenir photos.
Shortly before noon on 28th April 2011, a blast originating in a cafe in the square killed 17 people and injured another 25. It is thought that it was a bomb attack.
I brought myself 7kgs of fossils although I think some of them are cement fakes.
I also got my auntie a tagine cooking pot for her birthday.
You can easily get lost in the medina.
Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in the city. It was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199).
The mosque is closed to non-muslins.
The minaret is constructed from sandstone and stands 77 metres (253 ft) high.
Next was to visit the city walls. The ramparts of Marrakesh stretch for some 12 miles (19 kms) around the medina of the city,
They were built by the Almoravids in the 12th century as protective fortifications for the city.
It was now evening time so I decided to go for a swim at my hotel.
The sun was going down.
I headed back to the square for dinner.
The sun sets over the city for the next day I was to head to the mountains.
I need an early night for tomorrow I was heading to the mountains.
To be continued….
For more information about Morocco please visit: