~ Morocco - Ait Benhaddou & Zagora ~

Sunday, March 19, 2017
         One of the highlights of southern Morocco trip was visiting Ait Benhaddau. I had a very hard time pronouncing it. If it looks familiar that's probably because it is- the location has been used in various movies such as Gladiator and is protected by Unesco. There is no running electricity and from memory only a handful of families still live there. Most people live across from the ancient small village where there is indeed running water and electricity.

While it was hot when I was there, I also remember it being very windy which helped with the heat. 

There are small stores scattered around the village selling souvenirs but one of the specialties here are the paintings. You can see in the above photo the man is holding a painting above a flame. The yellow parts are painted with water and saffron but the darker brown parts are actually sugar and water. After painting the paper they hold it over a flame so the sugar and water caramelizes thus producing the dark brown areas of the painting.

I definitely bought some home as I thought the technique was really cool and unique!

Although not depicted here we also saw sights of locals living here such as a young donkey eating away at its hay.

Looking out to the pool at our hotel that night. It was located across Ait Benhaddou and while the pool looked inviting it was actually bug-infested. I found this to be a common problem in Morocco although some places did leave you a net to catch the bugs with. My roommate and I decided to just sit by the pool instead of going into it.