We began our adventure in Casablanca with a visit to the stunning Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Africa and the 3rd largest in the world that stands half on the land and half on the ocean. The mosaic patters were beautiful, but just the start of it.
From Casablanca we travelled north through the city of Meknes towards the famous blue city of Chefchaouen perched high on the hill top. What a stunning little town, one of my favourites, a photographer's dream. We were invited into the home of of a local family where they prepared a traditional Moroccan couscous dinner for us. It was a great experience to share some time with the family and ask them about their culture an them about ours.
Fes was our next stop with 3 nights in a 600 year old riad. With its winding Medina and bustling life hidden in the walls of this labyrinth of tiny streets, Fes was certainly something different. The ancient city is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses.
We were again invited into the home of a local family, this time they were ready to party! After dinner they dressed us in local dresses and turned up the music and we danced around their living room. It's safe to say that the ladies and I will never forget the fun we had that night.
Leaving the intensity of the city behind we headed inland into the high Atlas Mountains, through some spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes, heading towards the Sahara Desert.
The Erg Chebbi is one of the world's iconic landscapes, with towering red sand dunes displayed in the perfect wave. Just 20 kilometers from the Algerian border, this really felt like frontier country. We rode camels at sunset which was simply stunning as the evening light played across the dunes and sets off the colors, with our pink scarves trailing in the wind.
Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic sites. Its grant kasbah is one of the most beautiful in Morocco and the fortified village is a fine example of clay architecture - it has been the back drop in many movies and tv shows and the town of Ouarzazate is know as the Hollywood of Morocco.
Marrakesh surprised me with its mix of old and new, it has a very European feel to it. Our tour of the old medina took us through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Plenty of shopping and a visit to the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle. A real highlight was our Moroccan cooking class where we learned to make a traditional tagine of chicken and preserved lemon.
Our last stop before the journey home was the seaside town of Essaouira, a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean. Such a quaint little town where we shopped and ate the freshest seafood. The cool ocean breeze a wonderful change from the hot weather we had experienced.
Overall a wonderful trip with a fantastic group of ladies.