Morocco
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The Kingdom of Morocco is a country in western North Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
It almost touches Spain at the Strait of Gibraltar. The population is ~33 million people (about the same as California, USA).

The full name of the country (in Arabic, المملكة المغربية‎‎ ,Al Mamlaka al Magrib) translates to "The Kingdom of the West",
 the most western spot in north-western Eurasia. The country is called "Morocco" in many languages because
Marrakech was its former capital and most important city.

 

Locator Map for Morocco

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

An Overview Map of our Morocco Trip

This map of Morocco is an approximate overview of our itinerary. We started in Casablanca and made a clockwise journey through the Imperial Cities, (Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Marrakech) with interesting stops including the desert and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Volubilis and Ait ben-Haddou.

The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca dominates the city and the skyline. Partly erected over the Atlantic waters, this enormous mosque can hold 25,000 within its prayer halls and another 100,000 on its plazas. This is the second largest prayer hall in the world - three times the size of St Paul's Cathedral in London. The Hassan II Mosque has the tallest religious minaret in the world. Construction lasted six years (1987-1993) and involved some 12,000 personnel. Detailed Arcades of the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca   The Minaret of the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca - the Tallest Minaret in the World   Detailed Fountain of the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Rabat's Fortified Kasbah des Oudaias   Decorated Doorway in Rabat's Fortified Kasbah des Oudaias   Jerrold Patz at Rabat's Fortified Kasbah des Oudaias

We visit Rabat's fortified Kasbah des Oudaias. Now and formerly the capital of Morocco, Rabat has a European elegance and distinctly Islamic character. Note the fly on the decorated doorway (C). (R), Jerrold Patz at the Kasbah walls.

The Hassan Tower in Rabat and the unfinished mosque surrounding the tomb building. The Hassan Tower in Rabat   Unfinished Mosque at The Hassan Tower in Rabat

Jerry and Naimah at the Hassan Tower, Rabat   Tomb in The Hassan Tower in Rabat

Jerrold and Naimah at the Hassan Tower (L), and the tomb within the mausoleum (R).

Jerrold and Naimah at the massive gate to Meknes imperial stables and granaries (L). (R) Naimah inside the massive granary. The Massive Gate to Meknes Imperial Stables and Granaries    Naimah inside the Meknes Imperial Stables and Granaries

The Impressive Bab el Mansour Gateway, Meknes   Plaque for The Bab el Mansour Gateway, Meknes

The impressive Bab el Mansour gateway to the old imperial city of Meknes.

Tomb of Moulay Idriss el Akhbar, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. Tomb of Moulay Idriss el Akhbar, a Descendant of the Prophet Mohammad

Roman Ruins of Volubilis   Roman Ruins of Volubilis   Roman Ruins of Volubilis

Ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO world Heritage Site, the largest of the Roman colonies established in Morocco between the 1st Century BCE and the 2nd Century CE. Excavations here are of about 30% of the site.

Volubilis is noted for its intense and varied mosaics, now over 2000 years old. Efforts are being made to preserve them as a world and national treasure. Roman Mosaics at Volubilis   Roman Mosaics at Volubilis   Roman Mosaics at Volubilis

Jerrold Patz at the Roman Colony Volubilis, Morocco   Our small traveling group at the Roman Colony Volubilis, Morocco

Jerrold Patz at the Volubilis ruins (L) and a picture of our small traveling group (R).

The souk (marketplace) in Fez. (L) colorful olives and (R) multiple varieties of dates. Colorful Olives at the Souk (marketplace) in Fez, Morocco   A Variety of Dates at the Souk (marketplace) in Fez, Morocco

View of a Large Tannery in Fez, Morocco

Morocco is famous for its colorful and supple leathers (camel, goat, sheep, and cow). This is one of the largest tanneries in Fez.

Naimah on a camel in the Erg (sand dunes) outside Erfoud (L). (C) Naimah and our tour guide Hassan, and (R) Jerrold Patz with a young camel. Naimah on a camel in the Erg (sand dunes) outside Erfoud, Morocco   Naimah and our tour guide Hassan on the Moroccan Erg   Jerrold Patz with a Young Camel, Erfoud, Morocco

Sign for the Tunnel Zaabal Cutting through the Zis Gorge   Tunnel Zaabal cutting through the Zis Gorge, Morocco

Tunnel Zaabal cutting through the Zis Gorge on the main road to Erfoud. The tunnel is also known as the Tunnel du Legionnaire as the French blasted their way through the mountain to open a passage to the south.  French Foreign Legion legion   

A Kasbah style hotel in Erfoud (L) and (R) a nomadic encampment in the Atlas Mountains. A Kasbah Style Hotel in Erfoud, Morocco   A Nomadic Encampment in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Outside Photo of the Kasbah Hotel Xaluca in Erfoud, Morocco   Naimah at a Decorated Doorway at the Kasbah Hotel Xaluca, Erfoud, Morocco   Our Hotel Room at the Kasbah Hotel Xaluca in Erfoud, Morocco

Naimah at a decorated courtyard doorway at the Kasbah Hotel Xaluca in Erfoud where we stayed (C). A shot of our whimsical bedroom (R), and a full shot of one of the hotel wings (L).

The Erg (sand dunes) on the south-east of Morocco, near the border with Algeria (L). (C) Naimah and I lead the camel caravan up into the dunes, and (R) Naimah and I pose with my friendly camel. The Erg (sand dunes) on the South-East of Morocco, Near the Border with Algeria   Leading the Camel Caravan, on the Erg, Morocco   Naimah and Jerrold Posing with his Camel on the Erg in Southern Morocco

The Beginning of the Erg. After the jeeps can go no further, we mount camels   Here, Jerry and Naimah are backlit and radiated by the setting sun, a scene not unlike those seen in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

We drove in 4x4 'Jeeps' until we could no more, then we mounted camels to climb the Erg (L). We are faw away from anything except the sand.  Here, we are backlit and radiated by the setting sun (R), a scene not unlike those scene in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".   sunset in the desert 

The sun drops into the Erg and leaves an afterglow (L), then almost total darkness (R). sunset in the desert  The Sun Setting into the Moroccan Desert   The Sun Setting into the Moroccan Desert

The Todra Gorge, Morocco   Naimah in a Berber Scarf Overlooking Ait-ben-Haddou, Morocco

The Todra Gorge situated on the remote east side of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco (L). Naimah in a Berber scarf overlooking Ait-ben-Haddou, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A view of Ait ben-Haddou (L), a closer detail (C) and a roof-top view of the ksar (R). A View of Ait ben-Haddou   A Closeup View of Ait ben-Haddou   Roof Tops of Ait ben-Haddou

The Main Gate of Ait ben-Haddou   Naimah on a Donkey Crossing the River to Ait ben-Haddou

The gateway (L) at Ait-ben-Haddou, where the movie "Jewel of the Nile" and "Gladiator" were filmed. (R) Naimah on a donkey crossing the river to the fortified town.

A view of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains (L). A new mosque sits next to a crumbling mud-brick fortified town (R). A View of the Snow-Capped High Atlas Mountains   A New Mosque Sits Next to a Crumbling Mud-Brick Fortified Town

The Final Resting Place of the Ashes of Yves Saint Laurent, Majorelle Botanical Gardens, Marrakech   A Variety of Succulents at the Majorelle Botanical Gardens, Marrakech

The final resting place of the ashes of Yves Saint Laurent (L), and a variety of succulents (cacti) (R) at the Majorelle Botanical Gardens, Marrakech.

The varied colors and smells of the Marrakech souk: spices piled high in conical towers (L). A display of tagines (R), the traditional cooking pot of Morocco. One of these pots followed us home as a souvenir. Spices Piled High at the Marrakech Souk   Tagines For Sale at the Marrakech Souk

Historical Marker for the Saadian Tombs   An Ornate Interior Arch of the Saadian Tombs   The Saadian Tombs

Marrakech is home to the Saadian Tombs, resting place for the dynasty that ruled from 1525-1659. Neglected for years, these tombs represent some of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in Morocco. Shown are the historical plaque (L), a detail of one of the interior archways (C), and the actual tombs (R).

The Djemaa el Fna has been the hub of Marrakech activity for centuries. Part marketplace, eatery, and circus, it is another of Morocco's UNESCO World Heritage sites. The name (place of the dead) derives from it being a former site of public executions. (L) A view of late afternoon activity including all the smoke from various cooking, (C) one of the many food stalls, and (R) a dried fruit vendor. Not pictured were the acrobats, snakes, monkeys, and fortune tellers. The Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech   One of the Many Foodstalls at the Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech   Dried Fruits For Sale at the Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

Jerry and Naimah in a Massive Doorway at the Casablanca Royal Palace   Doorway at the Casablanca Royal Palace

We began this adventure in Casablanca and fittingly end it there. We are humbled standing at one of the immense doors of the local royal palace (L). Another photo of an ornate doorway (R).

In Hollywood, every movie has a happy or tearful ending. We got both: We ended our journey at Rick's Caf, modeled on the one in the namesake movie Casablanca. Here, we find (L) the lighted sign of the cafe and (C) the reverse side of our souvenir menu, and (R) an interior view of the Caf {thanks Judy for the shot}.
"Step into The Legend" --- indeed.
Rick's Cafe, Casablanca. Part of the Legend   Part of Our Menu from Rick's Cafe, Casablanca   Interior View of Rick's Cafe, Casablanca

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Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.

 

tourist attraction  "Jerrold Patz" "jerrold patz" patz naimah "tomb of sol tzadika"    "djemaa el fna" "ornate door knocker" hammam garden lion palmerie "casablanca street sign"  belghazi  fez fes