Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Atlas Mountains & Imlil

We took our conference group on a day tour to the snow covered Atlas mountains about 1.5hrs drive outside Marrakech. It is a fabulous day trip if you are in  Marrakech as the small Berber villages are an incredibly stark contrast to the city. It is preferable to try to do this trip on a Saturday, market day, as it is absolutely worth a visit! Set in front of a large rubbish tip, it is a genuine local market, no tourists stalls, and on the day we visited, the ground was thick with mud so each step had to be taken with care. The locals trying to sell the predictable trinkets to tourists are extremely persistent, so you have to be more persistent in refusing! The butchery area was pretty amazing with carcasses laid out everywhere and many goat heads set on newspaper for sale - this may be less impressive in the heat of a Moroccan summer, as there was no refrigeration or display cases! There was also the possibility of getting a haircut or for a dollar, having your bad teeth pulled out with a pair of pliers. Then we continued to Imlil where we hiked in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, visited a house of one of the Berber people for mint tea, and lunched on tagine on the rooftop of a building with a very impressive view of the Atlas mountains.