Ouarzazate-Marrakech-Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

Day 10     Ouarzazate-Marrakech (130 miles Approximately)-Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

The French Foreign Legion has to come into our story somewhere, and sure enough, today we were to cross the High Atlas via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, a road constructed by them in 1931.  It meanders along exposed ridges reaching a height of 7,415ft (11,933km).  The summit consists of twists and turns in every direction,  the surrounding mountains bathed  in a haze.  The Tizi-n-Ichka pass is important in that it connects the cities of Ouarzazate and Marrakech.  This was another stunning, magnificent route.

http://www.evo.co.uk › McLaren › MP4-12C

Arrival and Afternoon in Marrakech

Today’s ride was not too long and we arrived on the outskirts of Marrakech around lunchtime.  The traffic was horrendous, with vehicles  going in all directions, and no thought given to order.  We decided that we would take a leaf out of the Romans’ book and create a phalanx, albeit of motorcycles rather than soldiers, so that we would not get split up.  This worked really well and we negotiated our way through the traffic and to the hotel with ease.   The afternoon was free to explore this place, first made famous by an influx of hippies in the 1960s and 1970s.  As some of us were from that era, we well remembered the sentiments and the drug habits of those earlier western pioneers!  “Peace and Love, Man!”Horse drawn carriage, Marrakech

After dire warnings about street food, and imprecations not to eat it or face the consequences, we set off to explore the city.  And, what better way to do this than by horse and carriage. 

What a lovely city this proved to be, with many surprises in the architecture, ramparts, palaces, mosques, gardens and monumental gates.  I was beginning to understand why this city has a World Heritage status. http://whc.unesco.org › Culture › World Heritage Centre ›

The main area of interest is the Medina, which contains a lot of the historic monumentsFlowers of Marrakech. We also enjoyed seeing the Kasbah, an Arabic word for a citadel or fortress.  This seemed to be in a good state of repair.

During the afternoon we wandered into the square on the edge of the Medina.  There was a lovely café that overlooks the square and we sat on a balcony there sipping hibiscus tea and watching the passersby below.  It was this café that was attacked by terrorists in 2011, their bomb killing 17 people, mostly innocent tourists.  It also destroyed the café. 

We  returned to our hotel for the evening happy in the knowledge that tomorrow, we had a full day to explore Marrakech more fully.

Naomi Flashman

 

 

 

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