Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moroccan Photo of the Day ~ Mobile Dental Care!

The View from Fez is in debt to the Facebook page Keep Calm & Visit Morocco for their splendid photograph of a dentist displaying his extensive range of teeth!


It should be pointed out to folks with a phobia about dentists that Morocco also has a large number of European trained dentists with the latest modern equipment.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ait Atta Amazigh Nomads Annual Migration


Photographer Abdullah Azizi has produced a series of extraordinary photographs of the annual migration of the Amazigh (Berber) Ait Atta nomads 


Each spring, nomadic Saghro in South Eastern Morocco, leaving their pastures with their herds of goats, sheep and camels, and their entire family. The caravan sets out to cross the plain of Dades and climbs the southern slopes of the Atlas over 3.000m to the the Izourar lake and highlands.


Ait Atta are a group of Amazigh population of Morocco from the Sahara. Jbel Saghro is their original stronghold. They spread around in the valleys of Tafilalet, Ziz, Dades and Draa.


To discover more, visit the photographer's website: azifoto.com


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Moroccan Photo of the Day ~ And now for a quiet swim...


Recently The View from Fez reported on the search for a tranquil place to cool off during the heat (See story here), and so we thought today's photo should explain why such a search is necessary. The photo is of a swimming pool in Meknes



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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Old Grand Taxis Get a Makeover


As The View from Fez reported back in June (see story here) the Moroccan government has rolled out a new initiative get rid of Morocco's grand taxis or "white taxis" as they are called by most people. The taxis are all Mercedes Benz and according to the government a majority of vehicles are "wonky". In addition factories no longer exist in Germany or elsewhere, and have not done so for almost 20 years

The old taxi style
The new taxis will look like this

It is estimated that some 55,000 cars are still in service and carry millions of passengers in the four corners of the kingdom, but it is claimed that apart from accidents and fatalities, there big crime is pollution.

But what will happen to the old ones?

Photo: Colette Apelian

An enterprising initiative in Tangier has captured the imagination of locals. As Colette Apelian reports via Facebook, a mobile restaurant has been set up in an old taxi. Escargos Tanger is a great example of a way to repurpose an old clunker. It is pictured on the Tangier Corniche, near the Hotel Shererazade

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Escaping the Heat ~ and the Crowds



With thousands of Moroccans crowding the beaches and the seaside towns such as Essaouira or up in the hills in Ifrane or Chefchaouen (see story here), The View from Fez went searching for the perfect combination of cooler weather and tranquility. We found the answer just over 80 Kilometres from Fez, at Auberge Ain Sahla


With twenty rooms and both indoor and outdoor dining areas, Ain Sahla is the perfect base for exploring the Jebel Tazzeka National Park. The architecture appears to be the offspring of a wonderfully whimsical marriage between Hobbits and Gaudi. There are numerous terraces with spectacular views as well as a perfectly maintained pool and (surprisingly) a small walled soccer field complete with goal nets!


Set beside the National Park, the area abounds with interesting flora and fauna, including the largest black bumblebees we have come across. For those with good eyesight there are also chameleons and a variety of lizards.

A large black bumblebee feasting on lantana flowers
A well disguised chameleon

The generous breakfasts and evening meals are all prepared onsite from local ingredients. The cooking is done on charcoal and wood fired grills and Berber ovens. In addition, the gardens are full of fruit trees with pomegranates, figs, citrus and grapes. With the wonderful Berber hospitality, guests are free to sample fruit straight from the trees.

All the cooking uses traditional methods and utensils


THE TAZEKKA NATIONAL PARK


The Tazekka National Park is only a few minutes drive from the auberge and offers spectacular scenery and a variety of walks and cave experiences.


Amongst the main attractions of the National Park are the Friouato caves (Arabic: مغارة فريواطو‎), better known by their French name Gouffre de Friouato.


The farthest explored point in the cave system is about 272 meters, but its real limits are still mysterious. However, some locals believe that it is about 3.5 kilometres in length. Be aware that climbing down and then up again does require a certain stamina. (See our story here.)


At the end of a day of exploration, returning to the auberge for a cool drink, a swim and some fine food, is the perfect conclusion.


Photographs: Suzanna Clarke & Sandy McCutcheon

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