Ait Benhaddou

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Despite having been used in numerous Hollywood movies, it still retains charm and interest even if slightly blighted by a fake Babylonian gateway...in a UNESCO protected site!

The main town was largely abandoned when a water main was installed across the river.   According to our guide, the locals had been walking miles every day to get water as the river was not suitable for drinking; big question as to why they built a town there in the first place.  However, some remain, even if only as custodians of the old houses which are now museums, or the imam, keeping the mosque alive.

We had tried to ignore the guide who thrust himself upon us, on the basis that we could see perfectly well what we wanted to without his help.  His perseverance was eventually rewarded, mainly because he turned out to actually know what he was talking about rather than just stating the blindingly obvious:  "...and this is another house..."

He also led us into old buildings we may well have missed and, perhaps most importantly, kept the other would-be guides and trinket sellers at bay.

 

       
 

 

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Jeremy Harrison 2005-2013