Ouarzazate – Atlas Film Studios and Ait Ben Haddou

“As long as the eye sees nothing, the heart sees absolute peace.” Moroccan wisdom

Today we leave Essaouria and drive to Ouarzazate. The journey goes back to Marrakech first, where we have an hour stay before continuing to Ouarzazate that we reach in the evening. Here we have a somewhat more expensive hotel room, which is beautiful and spacious. The luxury is doing well now.

Quickly we go up to the huge roof terrace to admire the city from above. It is a very beautiful view over the clay houses with the Atlas mountains behind.

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The reason to stay in this city is that we wish to visit the Atlas Film Studios and the beautiful Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. (the clan of the son of Haddou).

In Ouarzazate many famous films have been shot. For example, Kundun, Kingdom of Heaven, Ben Hur, Gladiator and many more.

The next day we rented a driver for the afternoon to admire Ait Ben Haddou at sunset. A couple from the hotel asks us to come with us and so we shared the cost and enjoy the trip together.

First we go to the Atlas Filmstudios, which are located at the gates of Ouarzazate. It was an impressive big areal!

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This stunning Temple was build for the movie Kundun. Everything was made of gypsum as we could see in detail everywhere.

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Haha, enjoying our fight with stones out of gypsum…

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A highly realistic Egyptian Temple where they once shot Cleopatra. What kind of artwork! Every little detail looks real…

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A few things on the way through the studios. On the top the City for Kingdom of Heaven. Unfortunately it was not allowed to go there. A gypsum car for spectacular explosions and a ship from Cleopatra.

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We walked through this very impressive little village where they once shot the story of Moses. Every setting looks real – in front…

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Another spectacular scenery for Cleopatra! Wow! But see how it looks from behind the scenes…

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At least we were having fun with the fighter and the jeep from the movie The Jewel of the Nile with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

It was really fun and impressive to visit the studios. Now we can watch all the movies again and trying to spot all the locations we have seen.

We continue our trip through dry lunar landscapes to Ait Ben Haddou. What a strange scenery at the High Atlas Mountains. We stopped to have a spectacular view over the green valley!

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Form the first day on, when I have seen the dromedaries in Essaouira, I’m in love with these cute guys. Oh how I could cuddle and kiss them…

A few kilometres later we stopped to have a first view over Ait Ben Haddou. WOW! The residential castles of the Kasbah rise above a wide river bed. Berbers live here at 1300 meters high – their houses are traditionally made of clay.

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At this point there was a man with tourists stuff and the man with the snakes. A little baksheesh for this experience and the photos. I really don’t like snakes! Give me ten tarantulas and I will be happy, but no snake please! But I have to try, I cannot fail in front of the boys 🙂

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Now it’s time to visit Ait Ben Haddou and we are really curious.

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OMG what an highly impressive scenery! Imagine this!! In former times Ait Ben Haddou took place at a caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. You could really feel this…

We all walked over the river bed which is nearly dry today.

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Even our very friendly driver says it’s time for a turban – free style…

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The beauty of this place inspired great directors who shot Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator in this magical scenery. Exactly at this place where you see the quads above a scene from Gladiator took place once. We wanna walk all the way up to the top of the mountain..

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We entered the ochre-colored Kasbah and walked up through little alleyways which felt like they were 1000 years old. The time has really stopped here…

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Wow, this stuff is mine! Unfortunately it is much to big for my little bag…

A few meters later we have found an interesting Berber Artist who does Pyro-Aquarelles! What is this? We got an explanation…

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He uses Safran, tea and indigo mixed with water for the colours. Draws his beautiful pictures and fixed them over a flame! All the colours getting darker and darker! What a stunning way! We all bought a piece from his tender and unique artworks.

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In his little gallery a list of movies shooting in Ait Ben Haddou was shown. And of course the Berber Artist had a few walk-ons in different movies… What a wonderful encounter!

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Again we walked up, up, up our way to reach the top of the mountain. Always looking at this magical Kasbah. It was mind-blowing…

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WOW! What a terrific view over the city and the whole valley we could embrace! Morocco you are full of heart-touching wonders!

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We are doing nearly hundreds of photos and relaxing…

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Drinking felt 100 bottles of water. The heat was exhausting and no shadow…

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After a wonderful break and view we went down, down, down again. We have found a little cafe and enjoyed a cup of green tea with the view.

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Our driver does the special tea ceremony. He filled the cups and pour them back four times. This mixed the tea with the sugar and after all it is quite delicious.

Saying good-bye to this magical Kasbah with this photo. Shukran…

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It was to cloudy to enjoy the sunset, but this doesn’t matter.

After all we had a delicious couscous in the evening all together.
So thankful for this magical day full of wonders!

Sunny greetings with so much L O V E from the heart!

J  &  J  &  J  |  Glücksritter, now packing or bags for Merzouga/Erg Chebbi

2018-05-14T06:27:16+00:00By |

4 Comments

  1. Cornelia November 7, 2016 at 09:45

    Wow, so viele wunderschöne Fotos! So kann ich unsere Marokkoreise gerade noch einmal nacherleben 🙂 (aber das mit den Schlangen lass ich aus 😉 Danke!

    • Jan November 8, 2016 at 01:02

      Danke meine Liebe für Deine schönen Kommentare!
      Wir freuen uns immer sehr darüber. Ja, Marokko ist wirklich ein wundervolles Land mit himmlischen Fotomotiven. Schön, dass Du noch einmal dabei warst. Das mit den Schlangen war einfacher als z.B. der Fallschirmsprung, den ich auch eines Tages noch machen möchte 😉
      Küsschen von UNS

  2. Lyinn November 7, 2016 at 14:08

    The best photo was the Stone Fight between you and Joscha!! Have I already told you that I love your travel blog?? Enjoy your travels!

    • Jan November 8, 2016 at 01:05

      Kisses my dear!
      Yes, I love this photo too, and I could have done this fight for hours 😉
      We are happy that you l o v e our blog! But if you like, you can tell it again and again 🙂
      Wonderful greetings to Marrakech. We miss your sweet terrace and of course you both!

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