Monkey’s Hands, Dadès Gorge (Morocco)

On our way to the overlook that looks down on the Dadès Gorge, we went past a wondrous formation called Monkey's Hands or Monkey's Fingers. It's as if the hillsides met a giant scrambler some time in the past. These iron-rich and soft sedimentary layers eroded over time to produce these strange and convoluted rocks.

Flushing Toilets in the Sahara Desert

We had a choice of sharing a bathroom or having our own. Eh, what? A bathroom in the middle of the Sahara? My wife doesn't mind a simple tent, dirt floors, sleeping in bags and eating out of tin plates, but she'd much prefer to have her own bathroom. So when there was the option... Continue Reading →

Sailing the Ships of the Desert—Camel Trekking in the Sahara

When we planned our Morocco trip, my wife wanted very much to have the experience of riding camels in the Sahara. I liked the idea a lot, too. After all, how often does one get to ride the ships of the desert in their native habitat? On top of that, we chose to stay overnight... Continue Reading →

Getting Serious About Restaurant Dar Hatim’s Pastilla (Fes, Morocco)

"It's jam." So said Fouad when I asked him if the reddish chile seed-laden paste was harissa. He chuckled. A little dab on my tongue told me it was ground up fresh chiles and preserved lemon, salty, intense, definitely spicy. Later, as the pastilla was served, he pointed at the plate of powdered sugar. "This is... Continue Reading →

The Roman Ruins at Volubilis, Morocco

The ancient ruins of Volubilis near Meknes, Morocco, are one of the best preserved of the ancient Roman Empire. Only partially excavated and surrounded by wheat fields, the Romans established a colony on this southeastern edge of the empire before finally being abandoned in the third century.

Chefchaouen, The City of Blue

It’s hard to describe what I felt when I first saw Chefchaouen. It’s like no other town I’ve ever seen, a city awash in blue. Some say it’s the color of the sky or the Mediterranean, but the hue is neither. My first view was from a highway overlook outside the city. From there, one... Continue Reading →

The Great Hassan II Mosque of Casablanca

Play it again, Sam. Is there a more enduring image of Casablanca than the landmark Warner Brothers movie of the same name? Romantic in a noirish sort of way yet memorable. It was a cultural phenomenon in the U.S. America had just entered the second World War; the film tackled the subjects of resistance to... Continue Reading →

It’s Off to Morocco

I lately have gotten fascinated with Morocco. A presentation on travel to Morocco at a local travel store convinced my wife and me that we should make it our next international destination. As a kid, I remember hearing about cities with exotic names like Casablanca, Tangier, Marrakesh and Fez, having no idea where they were.... Continue Reading →

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