Our Kasbah Hotel in Midelt, Morocco

23 04 2020


Midelt Hotel resized

We left Fez for a long day on the road through the Mid-Atlas Mountains and then onto the high desert plateau. Along the way we witnessed a market for sheep. And got ourselves a picnic lunch, which we ate at a riverbend site. A shepherd with her flock of sheep passed through.

Shepherd resized

Like every day, it was sunny, dry and comfortable. The wind was light.

We descended into a high plains landscape, passed through the town center of Midelt, reaching our hotel on the outskirts of town.

Right in front of the hotel, the snowy northern High Atlas Mountains dominated the view.

Mid Atlas resized

This hotel is built to resemble a kasbah. I though it was cool architecture. It had an outdoor swimming pool as well.

The style of the rooms, and some of the surrounding buildings, walls, and even geography made me think I might be on the other side of the Atlantic, in Mexico! No doubt this is because of the Spanish-Moorish interchange over the centuries, and the shared architectural styles, which the Spanish brought with them to Mexico.

The rooms were airy and generous. The terracotta colored floor and the colors of the walls and drapes made me think of Mexico, too. I’ve never been to Spain myself. Perhaps it has a flair of Granada? The rooms were very generous. Each had a “sitting room” capable of sleeping two and a main room capable of sleeping three.

There was a little hike we could do to a pond nearby, and on the way, once again, I felt like I could be in Mexico. The look of the houses, the walls, end even a nearby mesa completed the image.

The walk wasn’t without beauty, as spring cherry trees were flowering and some peacocks strutted around!

Down at the pond, an information sign got me grounded. It definitively reminded me that I was NOT in Mexico, because it was in French! Essentially, it said the surrounding area and Atlas mountains drained into this river, which the pond is part of, and that it joined other rivers heading north to the Atlantic. It is 13 meters deep. The fish that find home here are bass and trout. There are also Green North African frogs.

Pond Information resized

That night, I ate trout, which was quite tasty, from this pond!

On the way to the hotel, we passed through central Midelt, and like many towns in rural Morocco, it was very quiet. In my pictures, there’s nobody in sight. There are many reasons. There are people, but the men are out working their fields, or women are inside cooking and cleaning. We passed through at a time later in the afternoon. We’d see lots more people when children are going to or coming from school. Or, on certain days of the week markets are open, and locals plus people from surrounding areas are all shopping. We’d see women gathering discussing women stuff, or men at the Mosques or cafes. In the most conservative rural towns, there is a culture about women and their attractiveness to men. Women stay inside and the homes are designed so that women can see out, but men cannot see them inside. That way, the men can concentrate on the tasks at hand, rather than “distractions” or “temptations.” In the cities, this was not so much the case.

On the next day, we were traveling to one of the HIGHLIGHTS of our trip! We would be riding camels on the Sahara! And spending the night in the desert.







2 responses

24 04 2020
Nomsa Faith

Hi Rod! Most of your pics do not have anyone in sight. Feels like you travelled in the midst of Covid pandemic. Where are the people? Anyways, Morocco looks interesting.

24 04 2020
Rod C. Richards

Hi Nomsa! Thanks for your comment. I knew my photos of the town didn’t have any people. I offered some copy there to explain. Actually, I e-mailed my guide about that. So, in the larger cities, which are more liberal, people, especially women, are out all day. But in the countryside it is much more traditional and conservative. In fact, the houses are designed to be beautiful from the INSIDE, not the outside. Over and over we’d walk down a street which looked abandoned only to enter a home and amazed at the inside. When I post about Todra, I have a video of that. The other thing, is culturally, there is an emphasis on lessening amorous temptations. So homes are often designed so men walking by cannot see women inside, but the women can see out! Also, in the countryside, daily life is more regimented. And that results in people beeing seen sometimes, and sometimes not. So, early you’d see mothers seeing their kids off to school, and in the afternoons, after school, similar. During the day the men (and sometimes women too) are out tending gardens or fields. So they are not seen in town. Or, women are inside cleaning or cooking. We passed through there during one of the times when you just don’t see people out. Then, in the countryside, towns often have certain days of the week for market. If you pass through on one of those times the place is rocking. Because that is the only day people can shop. Then the out of towners return to their rural homes with their weekly needs in hand. It’s not the Internet/Amazon world out there. Again, as for female dress, the cities are much more liberal. In the cities some women don’t even wear hajibs (head scarf). In Marrakech, I saw women in dresses and pumps. But in the countryside, again, there is this lessening of amorous desires, so women cover themselves, sometimes a full “burka”. In another country town, we were out in early evening and that was a time lots of women were out. So, I guess in the rural areas, how many people you see it depends on the time of day? I noticed even in Casablanca on my first night it was dead quiet after 11pm and I left my hotel window open. I hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: