Sir Richard Branson and a Berber Market

On our last full day in Morocco, we left Marrakech and drove north over the High Atlas Mountains toward the coastal plain that would take us back to Casablanca, the airport, and a very, very early flight to Paris the next morning. On the way, about halfway to the mountain pass, we stopped at a weekly Berber market in the village of Ansi. As a village, Ansi pretty much looks like dozens of other villages we passed through: a scattering of adobe homes, a few satellite dishes, hole in the wall shops, and streets filled with donkey carts and scooters….

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Traveling west from the Sahara dunes at Erg Chebbi, we drove along “The Road of a Thousand Kasbahs.”  A “kasbah” is the Moroccan version of a medieval castle keep in Europe — a large walled structure that provides protection to those that live around it. There are lots of kasbahs in Morocco, especially in the desert waste areas between the High Atlas Mountains and the sandy stretches to the east that form the true Sahara. Over time, the Kasbah became a style of architecture, like the one in the photo above which sits on the outskirts of a Berber village…