Having left the Atlas mountains behind us, the land flattened out and once again became arid and barren. As we drew near to the city of Ourzazate, our driver suddenly abandoned the perfectly good paved road and struck out into the middle of nowhere over a pair of tracks in the rocky ground. Said explained that this off-road detour was a shortcut to one of the more famous kasbahs in Morocco.
Or so I thought. Because this was the first kasbah I had seen, I imagined they were relatively few nowadays -- kind of like ruined castles in Europe. Turns out they're everywhere! In nearly every village we passed on our way to the desert we saw some crumblind complex of mud brick walls and towers. Said called this the road of a thousand kasbahs; it's an accurate name. Most were not as fine as the one pictured here, but nevertheless the persistence of these mud strucures is a testament to the amazing lack of rain in this part of the world.
|This roof is not made for rain|
|The two towers at the top center/right were used in the filming|
of Lawrence of Arabia
|View from the window in the |
tower on the hilltop
|Mud and straw facade|