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Maroc 2017

What about Africa for a change?

We spent six weeks in Morocco, a country at the door step of Europe and full of surprises.

We discovered a great people, medieval medinas and modern cities, Roman ruins, colonial relics and breathtaking landscapes, an interesting mix of tradition and modernity.

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Path: Photos > The Tafilalet Region: Merzouga and Rissani
Tags: Morocco  2017

The Tafilalet Region: Merzouga and Rissani



We spent three days in the Tafilalet region: two in Merzouga and one in Rissani.

Rissani is worth a stop or can be visited as a day trip from Merzouga, best on a souk day (Sundays, Tuesdays or Thursdays); we discovered old ksars, paid a visit to Zawiya Moulay Ali ash-Sharif, the shrine of the founder of the Alaouite dynasty which still today reigns over Morocco and even found the ruins of the old city of Sijilmassa. We enjoyed walking on the quiet side lanes with hardly a car but plenty of cyclists.

You can also check our blog entry relating the two days we spent in Merzouga.

Curving sand dunes at Erg Chebbi - 1 pm.
Waiting for sunset on the outskirts of Merzouga - 6.30 pm. The dunes of Erg Chebbi in the morning light. Ridge walking in Erg Chebbi. The illusion is nearly perfect. But these are not nomads making their way to the desert, only a few tourists coming back from their camel trip in the morning. Car tracks and the noise of roaring motorbikes or squads make sure that you do not forget that Merzouga and its tourist activities are not far away. Close-up of the sand structure. Tourism takes its toll: look closer and spot the discarded plastic bottles. Erg Chebbi, one dune after the other. Soft curves and sand dunes in Erg Chebbi - 10.30 am. The sharp edge of the big dune. Landscape of Erg Chebbi - 1.30 pm. The big dune in the sunset light - 6.20 pm. Rissani - the entry to Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim, built at the end of the 18th century for the brother of Sultan Moussay Hassan, also called Hassan I of Morocco (reigned from 1873 to 1894). Rissani - detail of one of the side entry doors to Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. Rissani - decorated towers of Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. They are a fine example of Pisé architecture typical of many buildings in southern Morocco. Pisé is a technique for wall-construction using stiff clay or earth, kneaded, sometimes mixed with gravel, rammed between two lines of wicker-work or boards that are removed as the material hardens. Rissani - the outer wall of Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. Rissani - towers of Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. Rissani - intricate carvings on the porch of the mosque inside Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. Rissani - lintel inside the mosque of Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. Rissani - the ruins of Sijilmassa. This once famed city flourished for nearly 650 years after its establishment in AD 757 by Islamic dissidents. It lay at the junction of trade routes heading south to Timbuktu and the Sudan, east to Egypt and north to the Maghreb and the Mediterranean and was a wealthy trading center for gold, ebony, ivory and slaves. The city's brutal decline began around 1393. Replaced by Rissani it never recovered and was finally destroyed in the 19th century. Check <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sijilmasa">Wikipedia for more information</a>. Rissani - the ruins of Sijilmassa. Honestly, there is very little left to see and we could not recognise anything on the ground. But it's worth a stroll if you have time to spare and might provide a few photo opportunities at sunset. Rissani - the mosque inside Zawiya Moulay Ali ash-Sharif. This shrine contains the tomb of the founder of the <a target="_blank"  href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaouite_dynasty">Alaouite dynasty</a> which still today reigns over Morocco. Rissani, Zawiya Moulay Ali ash-Sharif - door leading into the courtyard of the mosque. Rissani - the courtyard inside Zawiya Moulay Ali ash-Sharif. Rissani - the courtyard inside Zawiya Moulay Ali ash-Sharif.

Go back to Roman Ruins of Volubilis or go on to Route des Kasbahs: Todra and Dadès Gorges or go up to Photos

$updated from: Photos.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:28 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$