Saturday, May 6, 2017

Morocco Travel Diary- Ait Benhaddou

Oh, hi guys!

Remember me? Probably not, since I haven't been posting in... forever... What the heck happens with time?!? I feel I don't have any... Somebody out there in the world must be getting a share of MY time! There's no other explanation!

Enough said... what's done is done! I am now back and hopefully I'll be here for the long run! I've been pretty active on social media though, especially Instagram, so if you don't follow me there, go ahead and do it. It's @dresssidestory.

So, Morocco huh? It seems like such a long time ago, but it was only in February that we visited this amazing country and were left speechless by the diversity of architectures, landscapes, colors. Today's post is going to be all about Ait Benhaddou. For those of you who haven't totally forgot who I am (insert geek laugh), you might remember I am a huuuuge Game of Thrones fan and I've already visited several of their filming locations. Well, I somehow found one in Morocco too... Yup, Ait Benhaddou was actually a filming location for GOT, as well as the Gladiator.

The thing I loved the most about Morocco is that, as I was saying earlier, every little place we visited had its own particular charm, there is something different and singular about every one of them. Ait Benhaddou is maybe the best example of the style of architecture found in the South of Morocco. The town is actually a ksar, which means castle or palace, and after seeing the photos, you will definitely see why it is called that. An earthen city with big defensive walls and breathtaking surrounding landscapes. As big photography lovers, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of this place! Most of the people who used to live inside the ksar have moved across the river, but they still have souvenirs shops, cafes, and they are very welcoming into showing you how an original home looked like, with most of the furniture and decorations still left untouched.

To everybody who plans to visit Morocco I would definitely recommend stopping to Ait Benhaddou. You only need half a day to visit it, and this includes lunch or dinner, but if you have the time, definitely spend the night at one of the Kasbahs in the area and climb to the top of the old town walls to watch the sunset. We actually missed it, but heard wonderful things about it!

After Ait Benhaddou, we took the spectacular High Atlas Mountains road to Marrakesh, and made a short stop to Tellouet for lunch.

I'm now going to leave you with the pictures, and promise I will be back with more traveling stories soon! Next on the list is Marrakesh, and I cannot wait to share the experience with you guys!

Also, in just 2 weeks I'll be traveling to Italy, so be sure to follow me on Facebook/Instagram (@dresssidestory), cause I'll be posting a bunch of pictures.

Talk to you soon!



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Morocco Travel Diary- Chefchaouen, the blue pearl

Oh, hi guys!

It's me again! :)

After a beautiful and sunny Spring week, the weekend brought upon gloomy weather and rain, so I thought I'd share my most colorful holiday pics to compensate for the weather outside.

Today, it's Chefchaouen's turn to be the star! I cannot even begin to describe that place... I just hope I will do it justice with the way I tried to capture its beauty. Chefchaouen was not even on our itinerary when we first started planning our trip to Morocco. We wanted to see the the big cities, it never even crossed our minds that we'd end up giving up on visiting Casablanca to go to Chefchaouen. But as we started collecting feedback from friends who had previously been to Morocco, and after seeing a few pictures on the internet of this amazing place, Chefchaouen moved to the top of our "must see" list.

We had almost a full day of visiting the blue town. We left Fes in the morning, right after breakfast, and after a 4 hour drive we finally got there. Parked our car and went to the old town area. After grabbing some lunch, we went ahead and wandered the narrow streets, mesmerized by the vivid blue walls that are everywhere in the medina. No wonder they call it the Blue Pearl! Everywhere you look, you get struck by beauty! People are super friendly, there are a lot of small shops where you can buy souvenirs from (prices are a lot lower that in the big markets). And those blue walls, man! That color gives you such a peaceful feeling... everything was so different from the agitation we found in Fes, not to mention Marrakech, nobody seemed to be in a hurry, everyone was super chill and relaxed (both tourist and locals). Afterall, the area IS famous for its hashish so all that laid-back, no-fucks-given vibe of the small town might have something to do with that. I'll have what there're having, you know what I mean? :))) But anywayzzz (insert stupid grin), that blue painted medina can cure any problem. I've done a bit of research and found out that Jews started painting the walls blue sometime in the 30's because it symbolized heaven and sky, then everybody started to get into that color so now the entire old area is vibrant blue. It seems to also keep the mosquitoes away, so the advantages keep on coming.

Another thing that I enjoyed was the enormous number of cats that we encountered during our walks (even the cats were relaxed, and I'm not even kidding- what's with that place?!??). I loved how they gave life to those narrow streets and beautifully decorated doors.

I'm going to go ahead and leave you with the pictures!

Many, many hugs and have a beautiful Sunday!



Outfit details:
Jacket: Desigual 
Jeans/Shirt: H&M
Adidas Superstars 
Andra Oprea Shop round bag