Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ouarzazate, Morocco: Doors to the Desert and our Rooftop Restaurant

I’ve previously written on this blog about our hellish drive on the steep zigzagged Col du Tichka Pass in the High Atlas mountains with our looney ADHD Moroccan driver. Well, you just don’t know the massive relief we felt when we have finally reached our destination for the day—Ouarzazate (pronounced as Oo-war-za-zet).

*sigh* I cannot stress enough what a relief it was!


A traditional shop in clay selling carpets outside the medina.

Ouarzazate, as many Moroccans tell us is the ‘Doors to the desert’. Many African traders from the sub-Saharan continent cross here on their journey to Europe, and like many other important Arabic city, Ouarzazate has its own gorgeous spread of carpets as well.

Ouarzazate bears another nickname as well, ‘The Hollywood of Morocco’. The biggest film studio in the country is located here. We did a quick visit to the Atlas Studio but didn’t go inside. The film studio has a hotel and there were memorabilia and posters of the movies shot in Ouarzazate. Many of them are famous real Hollywood films that I know. Here is a list of films shot in Morocco

For lunch, we went to this al fresco restaurant with a rooftop terrace overlooking Taorirt Kasbah and the medina. This place was really nice. It was made of similar material, mud clay, as the kasbah in front of it. Blondine and I picked a nice table with a nice view.

We were given a menu to choose from and I ordered a chicken couscous. The food here was OK, nothing spectacular really but it went well with us. The desserts they served were typically Moroccan and looking so bright and pretty. Mouth-watering sliced oranges with cinnamon top and some crunchy looking pastry called ‘kaab el ghzal’. It is an almond paste filled pastry shaped as a gazelle’s horn. Yummy I know, but I will pass as I am already full.

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the food.

After lunch, we went down and had tea at the garden of the restaurant while waiting for the rest of the team to finish. We’re quite looking forward to the next item on the agenda.


Our first glimpse of Ouarzazate from our moving vehicle.


The cool rooftop restaurant where we had lunch. I forgot to take pictures of our food.


Blondine and I at the rooftop restaurant having our souvenir shots.


Taorirt Kasbah and the medina in front of the restaurant (just outside of the medina) which I believe is the next item on our agenda.

Travel Period: April 2009
Destination: Ouarzazate (Drâa-Tafilalet), Morocco

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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