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Spring Break (2): Road Trip to the Sahara

This post will equal three days worth of content, in it including towering gorges, rolling green hills, and the Sahara dunes. For those that read through it all (even if you just look at the photos), I promise there will be a puppy at the end!

Our road trip started with scenery that I never could have imagined, some reminding me of California, and others reminding me of Switzerland:

View of Tizi-n-Tishka in the high Atlas Mountains.

We stopped by a traditional Berber village, usually consisting of ~20 houses always near a water source:


Ait Ben Haddou is recognized by UNESCO as a world patrimony. It is also a backdrop for many famous films and shows including Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Game of Thrones (as Yunkai).

Left photo: Date trees

Right photo: traditional hand-stitched Berber rugs.

Ali (tour guide), Rebecca, and Sam on the way to Ait Ben Haddou.

Fossils including ammonites, trilobites, and orthoceras found in the dessert.

The painting is a watercolor is comprised of green tea, saffron, and sugar. When heated, the sugar carmelizes, revealing details and making the painting bolder:

Here are more shots from the road before reaching our next destination:


The trees bloom every April revealing pink blossoms across the landscape, and it is known for its Festival of Roses involving a huge parade and 5 princesses (similar to the Rose Parade in Pasadena). Although we were a month too early, it was still an amazing view:

We also saw how argan oil and paste is made, first peeling the shell to reveal the seed, and then putting the seeds in the machine (middle photo) to be turned by hand. The oil will rise to the top and the paste will be left at the bottom. The last photo shows the paste along with syrups that can be eaten with bread.

We continued on the road until we reached our destination for the night.

Babylon du Dades, the place we stayed for the night.

DAY 2:


Ali showed us this beautiful valley on the drive to the Sahara, where we admired the contrasting colors between the pink blossoms and the lush green grass. It was especially windy that day, creating dust in the air from the sand nearby, but providing for a more surreal landscape in my opinion.

Continuing on the road:


The gorges are in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains where the orange limestone cliffs are as high as 300m with a crystal clear river running through.