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Mud brick houses in Bougomez. Photos by Ann Banks.
Mud brick

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Running with Gazelles in Morocco

When middle-aged crazy first hit, I went alone to run with the bulls in Spain. Three years later, with hot flashes of wanderlust still surging in me, I found myself in Morocco running with gazelles.

Morocco is a magic country that for years existed for me mostly in my imagination — an ethereal territory tethered to sandy desert tents propped up under a sheltering sky, dreams huddled together like Bedouins around an oasis under a starry blanket, a place packed with possibility retaining secrets the way camels store water in their humps.

I longed to stand on the shore where two sparkling seas commingle and kiss near Gibraltar at Tangiers. I wanted to stand on Bogart’s tarmac and experience the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Casablanca. I wanted to become invisible in Orwell’s Marrakech. Read more

Chefchaouen, Morocco: A Magical Dreamscape

It’s hard to pinpoint how a place ends up on my Must See list – I hear about it from a traveling friend, I read a novel set there, I come across a rhapsodic account on the Internet. But once a place is lodged on the list, it stays there until I start packing.

I remember exactly when the Moroccan town of Chefchaouen joined the queue: in a coffee-table book I found at a garage sale, I spotted a photograph of what appeared to be an all-blue town.

I’d never heard of the place before, and there was only a single picture, but that was enough. It was on the list.

This summer, years after the photograph ignited my fantasies, Chefchaouen was the first stop on a trip to Morocco I made with my daughter. The town didn’t disappoint. Read more

Painting the town blue in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Ann Banks.
painting the town blue in chefchaouen

The Blue Men of the Sahara

The blowing sand rocks our Land Rover as we reach the outskirts of Timbuktu.

Mahkmoud leans over the steering wheel and peers into the hazy lemon yellow that fills our windshield. There is no horizon between earth and sky and I wonder how he can continue to drive with no reference points, yet on he goes with the instinct of a desert nomad. I realize for him, this is normal. Read more

 

Fes, Morocco: History and Mystery

The call to prayers from the muezzins permeated the clear air from several of the minarets in the culverts far below much as they have for 1,200 years. From my perch above, the medina spread in a mustard color from the top of a mountain down, much like a spider’s web.

In researching for my trip I had read that it is very possible to get lost in the city’s web, forever back in time. It is clear why Fes (also spelled Fez) is called the city of ten thousand alleys. Read more

 

Saharan Soccer: Traveling with Children in Morocco

A snake charmer in Marrakech

A snake charmer in Marrakech - photo by Kent E. St. John.

"You're taking your child where?! Are you crazy?"

That was the astonished reaction of just about everyone I told about my plan to take my 10-year old son on vacation to Morocco. Their eyes would widen and I could tell they were concerned for both our safety and our sanity. But they didn't know the secret of Moroccans and children.

This was an Arab country and it was in Africa, and their heads were filled with biased news articles and old horror stories of kidnappings, swindlings, disease and generalized ill-will.

As my son can attest, they were dead wrong. Throughout our two-week journey from the Imperial cities of Fes and Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, he was treated like a desert prince by everyone he met. Read more

Read More GoNOMAD stories about Morocco:

Morocco's Atlas Mountains: Running Hot and Cold

Morocco Manners: Etiquette Tips in a Land of Hospitality

Running with Gazelles in Morocco

Chefchaouen, Morocco: A Magical Dreamscape

Morocco's Bougmez Valley: An Unspoiled Shangri-La

Visiting Morocco: Some Tips for the First-Time Traveler
Marrakech: A Step Back in Time
Desert Driving: A Guide to Overlanding the Sahara

Hollywood's North African Mirage: Seeing Beyond "Casablanca"

Couscous, Kes Kes, and Kasbah: Cooking With Kitty Morse in Morocco

The Most Exotic Outdoor Café in the World: Marrakech's Jemaa el Fna

Marrakech: Bedouin Woman Takes The Leftovers

Cell Phones in the Sahara

Tribes and Tribulations in a Moroccan Hammam

Explorer Guide: Moroccan Sahara

 

Morocco

Dye pots in FA(c)z. Photo by Janis Turk. Click on image to return to Janis Turk's article about Morocco.
Painting the town blue in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Ann Banks. Click on photo
Djellabahs for sale in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Ann Banks. Click on photo to return
Man in a local market in Morocco. photos by Kathryn Weir. Photographing Magical Morocco: Tips
Mud brick houses in Bougomez. Photos by Ann Banks . Read More about Morocco on GoNOMAD
to Janis Turk's article about Morocco.
Saharan Soccer: Traveling with Children in Morocco By Cass Erikson "Y ou're taking your
Turk's article about Morocco. Read more GoNomad stories about Morocco:
Djellabahs for sale in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Ann Banks. Click on photo to return
Painting the town blue in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Ann Banks. Click on photo
Painting the town blue in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Ann Banks. Click on photo to enlarge
story about Chefchaouen. Read more articles about Morocco on GoNOMAD.com Travel:
with Gazelles in Morocco - Page Two By Janis Turk Days passed in a whirlwind of happiness A much like
further across than you need to. Morocco So I started to think about Morocco. Marrakech is reached
The Bab Bujeloud - photos by Kent St. John Fes, Morocco: History and Mystery

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