On day 9 we are heading west, with our final destination a guest house in Ait Benhaddou. This was to be a long travel day…about 4 hours driving, but with stops along the way.
After our regular stops for tea and cafe au lait, we made our way to Atlas Studios. This was an optional tour, for about $10 Canadian. We had a guide take us through and share different movie sets with us, and tell us what was filmed here. Some of the films were Black Hawk dawn, Jewel of the Nile, The Way Back, and Lawrence of Arabia. We thought Game of Thrones was on the tour…but it’s a separate one….we could see one of the sets from the distance. An interesting tour, but I’d have to say not my favorite part of my visit here…I prefer to see the history and landscape. It was something different, and there were some interesting sets and graffiti art.
Next stop was our guesthouse at Ait Benhaddou. This was one of the many highlights for me. The guesthouse was “cozy” as Nicky from Wales called it. Each room had beautiful lookouts over the site, and the common areas really made us feel at home.
Ait Benhaddou is an old village along the old caravan route. It has been featured in many films, including Gladiator. It was very cold here, so I was happy to have my Canadian toque and mitts!
After a tour of the village, we made our way back to the guest house, stopping for many photos along the way.
Finally, a wonderful dinner with wine we purchased in town earlier that day at the bottle shop. It is prohibited to drink alcohol publicly here. You can purchase at the shop, but it has to be concealed in a bag, and you can’t take it out, or show it in public. We have found some great wines here…Sahara Millennium and Eclipse….both reds are fantastic!