Ksar of Ait Benhaddou
Trip Start Jul 10, 2011
18Trip End Oct 30, 2011
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On arrival we meet our host and owner of the family run guest house Auberge La Fibule Houssain, nicknamed Mr Action as he has been an extra in many movies filmed at Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou (including Gladiator). We stash our bags and then tour the old Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou.
We see the arena used in many movies, though not in as good a state as appears in the movies. During the tour there is the chance to buy souvenirs and we buy a piece of art produced by mixing sugar and other ingredients and painting onto paper and then moving the paper over a flame to turn the sugar brown. We walk among the buidings to get to the top and watch the sunset from in front of the granary.
When we get back to the auberge we shower then meet for drinks before our cous cous & tagine cooking demo presented by Mr Action and his sister, followed by dinner
After it's bed.
Aït Benhaddou is a 'fortified city', or ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. It is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ounila River and has some beautiful examples of kasbahs, which unfortunately sustain damage during each rainstorm. Most of the town's inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; however, ten families still live within the ksar.
Centuries ago, Ait Benhaddou was an important stop for the caravans
passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with
gold, ivory and slaves. Today, its grand kasbah is still one of the most
beautiful in all of Morocco and a World Heritage site. This fortified
village is a fine example of clay architecture and is also famous for
its role on the silver screen, featuring in numerous films such as
Lawrence of Arabia, The Jewel of the Nile and Gladiator
Aït Benhaddou has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987(http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/444) and several films have been shot there, including;
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Man Who Would Be King (film) (1975)
The Message (film) (1976)
Jesus of Nazareth (1977)
Time Bandits (1981)
The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
The Sheltering Sky (1990)
The Mummy (1999)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)