Day 1, Malaga - Ceuta
Welcome to Malaga, southern Spain, where another great Edelweiss tour is about to begin! We are heading south and we are going to explore Morocco, this country of western Africa with a multiethnic society and a rich culture... and of course full of wonderful landscapes... desert, mountains, valleys and sea! As you can understand, we can't wait to be there!
After leaving Malaga to the south we followed the Andalusian coast, before we approached the British city of Gibraltar. To reach the old town, we had to cross the airport runway... and of course give way to the aircrafts! After a lunch break and a quick look at some shops, a cable car too us to the top of “Rock of Gibraltar", one of the Pillars of Hercules that in ancient times marked the limit to the known world. Nowadays, apart from the great view, one of the attractions of this place are the monkeys, being the only place in Europe where wild monkeys live! Then we continued to the port of Algeciras where we took the ferry to reach the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, on the African continent! Tomorrow we will finally enter Morocco!
Going up the Rock with the cable car
The first monkeys welcoming us
a view from the Rock...
anotherview from the Rock...
Boats in the strait of Gibraltar
the cable car
our brave riders, Art, Mathew, Diana, Laura, Jim and Judd
The lighthouse of Gibraltar, in its southernmost point.
The Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque of Gibraltar, the southernmost mosque in continental Europe and one of the largest in a non-Muslim country.
Diane, Jim, Mathew, Art and Judd
a walk by night in Ceuta
Day 3, Chefchaouen - Rabat
After our first night in Morocco we left Chefchaouen and continued through the beautiful Rif mountains. Reaching the Atlantic coast, we stopped in the small fishing village of Moulay Bousselham for lunch and then headed south until we approached the modern capital of Morocco – Rabat.
Picture stop in the twisty roads of the Rif mountains
The Atlantic Ocean!
Day 5, restday in Marrakech
Today we got to know the breathtaking Medina of Marrakech and of course took a guided tour also in the souk! There are various sections, textile markets, leather markets or carpet markets... and so on! Dinner was in the focal point of Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna, a huge square in the old city. This is the place where everybody meets and where the jugglers exhibit their talent. What a lively place!
Day 6, Marrakech - Ait Ben Haddou
We left Marrakech climbing up on the spectacular pass road to the Tizi n Tichka, in the fantastic scenery of the Moroccan mountain world. On the southern side of the Atlas mountains the vegetation slowly changed and we could feel the nearness of the Sahara. Before reaching the hotel, we saw the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, a Uneco World Heritage Site where several films have been shot including recently the "Gladiator" and "Alexander".
Backroads near Telouet
our beautiful hotel
wiew of Ait Ben Haddou
Day 7, Ait Ben Haddou - Boumalne Dades
Today, after a visit at the famous "Atlas Studios", where many movies were filmed, we road on the famous “Route of the Kasbahs”, once the caravan road between the desert and Marrakech, and then we reached the hotel where some of us decided to go for an extra loop in the beautiful Dades Gorges... despite threathening weather!
inside the Atlas studios
on the "Route of the Kasbahs"
The Dades Gorges
Day 8-9, Boumalne Dades - Erfoud
We finally entered the desert! After a ride in the magnificent Gorges du Todra, we continue direction Tinejdad, where we left the main route, and through dry and stony plains we reach the caravan base Erfoud.
Once arrived there, we could go with some 4x4 cars deeper inside the desert for a overnight in the tends and, for the early birds, a ride on the camels the morning after to wait for the sunset in the dunes!
desert is starting!
sunset in the desert
sunrise in the desert
Day 10 Erfoud - Fes
Today it was our longest riding day. We continued our adventure along the beautiful Ziz valley, where we passed by many palm oases limited by the steeply rising mountains of the High Atlas. Then the road lead us through the mountains until we reached Midelt for lunch. Since it had begun raining, we decided to skip the high road leading us through Ifrane and we took a road reaching a much lower altitude... but the road was not really in "very good conditions"!
The Ziz valley
Rain gear on!
Our group before reaching Midelt