07 November 2007

Morocco: The Atlas Mountains

You didn't think I was done showing you pictures of Morocco, did you? I fully intended on posting more last night when my jet lag finally caught up to me and I fell fast asleep at 5pm on my couch and it was all I could do to drag myself to bed at 9 when I was awoken by a distinct lack of circulation. Here I present to you the Atlas Mountains.

The village of Baihlil

Olives for sale! Oh, delicious, scrumptious olives! And the only thing that didn't leave your teeth feeling furred with sugar after eating them.

Our gracious host in Baihlil showing off the pride of his hearth, the pounded silver dishware. Interestingly enough the man only spoke Arabic and German and so, after stuttering through my French (in which my ears are better then my tongue), I suddenly found myself in full communication in a language I did not expect to find in such a tiny little village.

A donkey in the protected Azrou Forest. So strange to see donkeys and apes side by side (unfortunately the pictures documenting the event are not all that good).

Man traveling along side the road.

The formal entrance to a house that is dug into the cliff sides in the village of Baihlil.

Barbary Ape mum and two kids.

Village mosque.

The entrance gate to the village of Baihlil with men chatting at its entrance.

The Azrou Forest which looks for all the world like a Ponderosa Pine forest for those of you who know them. But these trees are cedar and larch. Unfortunately the giant trees of ore have most been harvested for fancy woodwork in the Mosques.

An Atlas Mountain view.
There is one particularly funny story about our Atlas Mountain trip. We wanted to go to Bab Merba (or lake Merba) to see the famous bird life there (after all we are -ologists). On arriving at the lake we started to laugh. Our taxi driver smiled nervously at us. There was no water in the lake. Not a drop. Sheep and cattle grazed across it although it was mostly devoid of plant life as well. Nobody had bothered to tell us that the lake is only full of water in the rainy season - if we wanted to go to the lake well, they would take us. We walked across the lake enjoying the sounds of the Berber tongue which flitted to our ears through the autumn colored trees (another surprise) from the sheep herders.


  1. The light.

    It's so different.

    And the idea of an empty lake....any pictures?

  2. oh man.

    man. how did you ever go back home?

  3. Nice photos from the hip and the viewfinder. I enjoyed your descriptions from your previous post. Do you ever feel drawn toward the water on trips like this, not just for the wildlife, but for the reflectiveness, the ripple the different smells?

  4. love these pictures. I am always astounded when I see how other people live... sometimes it gets so easy to assume everyone is as we are... even though I am well aware that they are not.

  5. Love this pics, and the story about the dry lake. Of course, they would not think to question WHY you want to go, they just wanted to take you there. :)

  6. crazymumma ~ yes, I do...but they don't really show you the scope of it.

    jen ~ hmmm...now that you mention it...I'm not sure. Maybe it was that touch of salmonella I caught.

    ms chica ~ I am not drawn more to water then other things. I am drawn to wild areas, I am drawn towards people and patterns, I am drawn towards color and sounds and smells. My twin and I probably spend a lot more time looking at natural places then other travlers and water is definately a nature area. I do love water for all the reasons you describe but I also love the smells you get in the absence of water.

    maypole ~ I think that diversity is so important on a global level. All those different ways of living, of thinking represents so many different ways of problem solving. May we always have our differences.

    qt ~ yeah, I think it has a little to do with post-colonialism. The westerners always want to do something crazy so just humor them.


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