|The donkey parking lot in Rissani.|
Our first stop was the town of Rissani, which was bustling with life on this, a market day. Livestock of all kinds was up for sale. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Berbers have traditionally been farmers, so this sort of trade was to be expected.
|Posing with sheep and goats. We are not for sale.|
As we walked through the town, we first came upon a large area full of donkeys tethered to the ground, many of them braying at each other. Most of these were not for sale, however, but rather had been ridden to market. We saw these animals everywhere in Morocco. This made Sue very happy since she is a great lover of this humble beast of burden.
|Salah–wearing a jellaba–and Regan study the dates on display|
The food market in Rissani was fascinating. There was lots of choice, from freshly slaughtered chickens, to root vegetables, to nuts and fruit. When I saw them, I wanted to purchase dates, one of my favourite foods. Then we were enticed to try some–absolutely delicious–so very fresh and juicy! Salah did the bartering for us to get the best quality and price and thus we left the town with a bag of sweet treats to enjoy on our journey.
Our route east followed the N12 through the Anti-Atlas mountains, black hills full of fossils. This was often a stark landscape, like so many others in this arid country.
|Typical view from the road.|
We stopped for lunch in a small town. Our restaurant's rooftop patio looked over a large expanse of palm trees. On the waiter's recommendation, we chose tagine again, this time served in individual pots. This stew was especially flavourful, in my opinion, due to the prunes and curry flavouring added to the chicken. Tagines are everywhere in Morocco, but this one was my favourite of the week.
|On the rooftop patio overlooking the palms|
Our route followed the Drâa Valley for much of the afternoon. We were frequently climbing in the mountains, looking down as we travelled along winding roads with hair-pin turns.
|A Berber village between the palm oasis and the mountains.|
|Crossing the river behind Hassan|
|We pose in front of Ait Ben Haddou|
|Here is a good view of a gate built for the movie.|
|Hassan inside the fortress|
|Looking over the fortress from the top. The square building on the right is a kasbah.|
|The view toward the mountians|
|Typical street with clay brick architecture in Ait Ben Haddou.|
|One last picture of Ait Ben Haddou|
|Regan and I could not resist this salesman's smile|
|The flowering trees were almonds|
|Beautiful views under unusual cloud formations.|
|A final photo in the mountains|