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Women on the Road Blog

Solo travel tips for women like you - the first Tuesday of every month >>

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morocco

Café Clock, or The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Laughing

Camel burger cafe clock

Like a firecracker threatening to explode, Mike Richardson flits from customer to customer until he has greeted them all. A smile here, a hug or handshake there, he doesn't miss a millisecond of what goes on behind him at the bar of Café Clock in Marrakesh, of which he is official puppetmeister. Or owner, if you prefer. To run [...]

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Djemaa El Fna, Marrakech: A Sensual Attack

Vulture feeding on Djemaa el Fna

My first evening was the worst. Like a slap in the face, leaving me bruised and winded, not knowing where to look. The central square of Marrakech, Djemaa El Fna, shocked me physically, its enormity making me feel as though I had dived into a whirlpool, pulled apart and assaulted from all sides by motion and smell, by bright, [...]

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Bright Sights: Colors of Morocco [PHOTOS]

It's hard for one's senses not to feel assaulted in Morocco. The sounds and scents of cities like Fez or Marrakesh, the cumins and olives and peppers that lift up the foods, or the sheer colors that blast you visually the moment you step into this sunbathed country. Even under the rain, they bombard you with bursts, textures, [...]

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Meet Mr Mohammed from Mhamid, Morocco

Mohammed from Mhamid Morocco

The dust sprinkling the streets of M'hamid Elghizlan, as Mhamid is formally called, comes from the desert's edge a few minutes away, where the Saharan wind and sand eat into what was once a thriving crossroads along the salt caravan routes to Timbuktu. Against a red brick wall, a former shop door opening is partially [...]

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Desert: A Sahara Night

Stars and camels in the Sahara

The stars hang like an unfinished choreography, dancers suspended in mid-air. The North Star sits straight above - or is it Venus? It would land on my forehead if it fell. The space between each speck of light is deep navy, the kind of blue that exists only when light is absent and here, in the [...]

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Modern-Day Nomads in Morocco: From Tent to Cave

Spinning cloth outside a Moroccan cave

The ceiling is low, so low I crouch to enter. The walls are rock, the ground packed earth, covered with a homemade throw rug. A few plastic bags carry the family's possessions, bunched in the corner of what turns out to be their 'living' room. Mohammed Ouhmou kneels as he pours thick mint tea, once, [...]

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Fast Forward in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun

BBQ skewers in Moulay Idriss

It's a café like any other, its round aluminium tables ringed by wicker chairs, a café in the French style, of which there are thousands. Except that it isn't in France but in the Moroccan holy city of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, which until a few years ago was so holy no infidel could even spend [...]

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The Scents of the Fez Medina

Olives and chillies in Fez

How can you even begin to understand the Fez medina, a walled city that has 9000 streets, 10,000 shops, a million people and is nearly a millennium old? Confusion sets in with an early-morning walk through the twisted streets of Fes el Bali, the largest of the city's two medinas. The sweetness of sandalwood and cinnamon [...]

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Rethinking Marrakech

Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

I hadn't thought a place could change this much. Nearly 30 years ago I visited Marrakech and I remember a pushy, leering place, with men almost grabbing at me to get me into their shops. The only two times I'd ever been tricked in travel happened there. I spotted a handbag I liked and negotiated [...]

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