Terracotta Morocco gold
of Morocco - the country convenient and universal: in it there are deserts and the blossoming gardens, snow-covered mountains and the tender warm sea. All delights of a civilization and islands of the untouched nature. Given rise on a joint of several cultures, it is not deprived of exotic, but this exotic - moderated, which is not shocking. At everything at the same time she will not disappoint and the thrill-seeker, but will make it softly, without risk, special for it. In a word, Morocco - edge of golden mean.
So, our way lay to the most “various“ state of North Africa where in rather small territory mountain meadows, the dense woods, boundless steppes and desert oases adjoin. We also chose the last as a purpose of visit. But, that to reach them, it was necessary to stock up with patience and to cross all country from the West on the East, from the sea - to sand. On jeeps...
Five years ago our group, having set for itself the similar task, already traveled here. Then our way lay through Western Sahara (a zone of territorial claims of Morocco and Mauritania). Now it was decided to increase our level of adrenaline due to overcoming of the highest ridge of Atlassky mountains, and to avoid politically problem region especially as in team besides skilled travelers beginners appeared. If before it consisted of business people, then this time representatives of the most different professions entered it: a platform Dmitry Malikov and Valery Syutkin, television - Igor Ugolnikov represented, architecture - Sergey Istomin, and medicine - doctor Yakov Brand. Admitting them to the structure, we, of course, took some risk:“ old men“ - that know for a long time, “what how much“, and Dima Malikov, for example, appeared in “Sheremetyevo“ with the beautiful tour suitcase collected precisely by the careful wife: then it with improbable work pushed it in the car, than very much amused the others. However, to honor of recruits we will notice, all of them proved “perfectly well“. The same Dima was the unsurpassed driver - I even never replaced him for all road.
How not to drown on a body
Started in the early spring morning from Casablanca, the economic capital of the country, accompanied by guides from the Horizon Travel company. It was necessary not only to show them to us the main sights, but also not to allow “to be lost“ in uninhabited places where without maintenance not only the visitor, but also the indigenous Moroccan can get lost.
we did not manage to leave the city as fascinating types opened before us. Slightly farther, in mountains, as well as it “is necessary“, to pleasure from surrounding beauty thrills increased: on sharp turns, narrow roads, over the deep gorges yawning nearly directly “under wheels“. However, sharpness of feelings was relative: everyone understood that the roads asphalted in the best European traditions allow to control a situation. Modern Morocco in general destroys stereotypic ideas of the Arab life as about a kingdom of east disorder and disorder - we should be convinced of it still more than once.
on the other hand, natural “wildness“, of course, does not disappear anywhere: for abundance of lakes, the woods and meadows the Average Atlas sometimes is even called “the African Switzerland“. Here it is possible to climb steep slopes, to ride mountain skiing in the winter and just to have a rest - for example, admiring falls Uzud near whom we stopped for the first spending the night. It concedes to Niagara or Iguazu only a size and volume of a stream. Believe, a show this very picturesque and besides, unlike “grandees“ of the waterfall world, not burdened with crowds of visitors. However, all necessary for slow contemplation powerful (110 - meter) cascades is available here: convenient descent, observation decks.However stronger impression of the mountain road in our memory remained
a picture on descent: around - snow tops (the highest point of North Africa Dzhebel Tubkal - 4 165 meters is), and ahead are already seen adust sand.
Having climbed down mountains, to the Sahara you get not at once. It rises smoothly: at first it appear in a steppe zone, then you pass the fields covered with crushed stone (here if it is not a pity for tires, it is possible “to cut off“, probably, a big piece of the route - to drive directly). And, at last, you “join“ the sea of sand that, by the way, categorically is not recommended to be done, previously without having trained and without having passed instructing. Otherwise for certain it is necessary to dig out the car of sand - and more than once.
All secret which was opened to us by instructors consisted in finding only the “correct“ speed at “storm“ of barkhans. You will go too slowly - you “will drown“ on a body, you will be overzealous with dispersal - easily you will turn over on descent. From two possible incidents the first is more preferable, of course, and on it, as a last resort, experts adjust the wards. Eventually, it is known that in sand cars of guides often uvyazat: it also calms, and once again proves that with the desert of a joke are bad.
Camels cargo and camels passenger
can Travel around the desert in the 21st century in three main ways: on cars, ATVs and camels. We tested everything, but was especially remembered - the last. By the way, I am afraid that not only to us - whatever hardy these animals were considered, it was hard to carry the team to them. Valera Syutkin still claims: “Never I will forget eyes of that camel whom our remarkable doctor Brand climbed up! In his look the inexpressible grief appeared. He was not a cargo, but the most ordinary camel...“ It is a joke, of course. In total “desert ships“ in some way “cargo“, but not passenger: in distant campaigns modern nomads, as well as their far ancestors, usually carry load on backs of animals, following nearby on foot.
the Only, perhaps, difference of such caravans from those that plowed the Sahara one thousand years ago consists in a way to satisfy thirst. Our contemporaries prefer green tea to water of which they, however, by tradition think much. When the same doctor Brand accidentally stretched to the small bottle suspended at a saddle once, the conductor fitfully stopped it. “But my water!“ - the “irresponsible“ European tried to protest, but the berber remained is unshakable: there is nothing to waste precious moisture, without emergency. And this with the fact that we drove off from hotel on distance only of an hour way and soon were going to return.
“Having mastered“ camels, we dismounted and climbed up a barkhan from there to observe a decline in the desert. The people never happening in these sand represent the desert as something one-color and monotonous, and barkhans - as sloping hillocks. I testify: they are mistaken. Actually the last reach in height of several tens meters. Staying on a barkhan crest, it is possible to monitor for hours game of shadows and shades of sand: a variety of forms and flowers is not poorer here, than in ocean waves. Not incidentally at sand with water there are so much general metaphors.
By the way, about the associations which are habitually arising at the word “desert“. Going to sand, I “am usually in advance ready“ for mirages and for a long time I am not surprised them (only once in Australia optical illusion took me unawares: I was quite ready to artificial lakes or palm trees, but over them also artificial birds turned...) . But Morocco as it became clear, prepared for our team the phenomenon much more mysterious: periodically among barkhans children`s figures began to scurry about suddenly! Imagine: you go on adust space where is not present and there cannot be a human housing, and suddenly, from nowhere, the little girl runs towards! Surprisingly, truth? And still I noticed that if previously to buy on parking of candies, children meet twice more often. And how you explain it?.
Poetry in sand
the Real, not mirazhny oases grow in the desert so unexpectedly, as well as “fictitious“. Throughout many kilometers nothing foretells their emergence: there is the next sandy mountain, and behind it - the palm wood, and the hotel with the ice pool rolls in its thickets (there is in it some special “desert chic“).
In general, it is necessary to tell that since I visited Morocco five years ago, the infrastructure in these regions strongly changed. Where there was only a lonely pise-walled shanty with kitchen earlier, and it was necessary to spend the night in tents, now meet huge comfortable hotel. But that is pleasant: for fans of exotic there were also tents...
the King Muhammad VI, as well as his father Hassan II, continues to conduct actively the country to the modern world: even in the desert we sometimes managed to use mobile communication. The most part of this country is provided telephone connection better, than, say, a midland of Russia. In settlements sports grounds and schools are built, everywhere to us children met the backpacks filled by books (guides told that to study the parents who are not sending the children, the huge penalty threatens, and even for nomads special mobile schools are provided). At last, here you will not meet as where - nibud in Congo, mountains of plastic bottles on roadsides, and even in the desert conductors immediately select the candy wrapper which is incidentally dropped by the tourist.
So, the civilization enters - the Moroccan life, but is silent, without hurrying. New beautiful hotels are under construction in characteristic national style or in general are built on over old buildings, keeping “lines of national architecture“. Almost there is no feeling of a tourist kitsch anywhere - even where it, apparently, cannot be avoided: when in a Bedouin hut to us laid a magnificent table, all its western laying organically fitted in some way into traditional color. In this hut, by the way, we with pleasure listened to a gnau - musicians - healers, descendants of the black slaves delivered here from the Equatorial Africa in the Middle Ages. Their fascinating music is based on repetition and “infinite“ development of the same couplet. Partly it reminds ultramodern psychodelic motives, partly - the jazz (which, actually, has similar historical roots). It is supposed that listeners have to fall gradually into a trance from these lingering roulades, but I cannot confirm it. But it is danced under them perfectly.
By the way to observe the Olympic parity concerning musicians - members of our company, we in Moscow agreed not to take with ourselves any musical disks, to show nobody and not to impose the preferences. In turn, none of stars for all the time of travel executed any couplet from the repertoire. Another matter, their songs we sometimes tried to sing, the people far from a platform, but, frankly speaking, it irritated the real performers.
However, on our trip did not do without creativity, and as main “instrument“ of familiarizing with art served the handheld transceiver. Besides continuous competitions in wit sometimes (usually towards evening) verses on air sounded. Baratynsky`s lines were replaced by Yesenin`s, and also own compositions of participants of group. There`s nothing to be done - the beautiful landscape inspires. However, it happened to us to sing also chastushkas.surprised Me with
that on a trip the people who got used in usual life to a role of leaders could so easily and it is frictionless to rally - the real team turned out. Only in one episode an opportunity to show the individual qualities dropped out, - when the amicable column “was scattered poavtomobilno“ to overcome the 220th kilometer desert piece lying on the route of the well-known rally “Paris-Dakar“ (nowadays “Barcelona-Dakar“). With an interval 20 minutes, without handheld transceiver, and with only one navigators of GPS system, crews “rushed to hidden fight“ where everyone wanted not just not to get lost, but also to win, arrive the first.
It our last meeting in private with the wild Sahara was p>
. Further the way turned back, on the North, through the berber settlement of Zagora. Here ancient trade ways were crossed and to this day caravans go to Timbuktu from here. The way takes 52 days. On foot. On the desert. And that the most surprising - even without GPS! In this geographical point naked barkhans are replaced by the blossoming gardens again. And the fruitless desert borders on surprisingly fertile lands where everything that you will put grows literally, and especially - date palm trees. While for us Morocco - the country exclusively orange (you remember how long small rombik on an orange peel served as a universal symbol of this country for the Soviet person?) Moroccans are proud first of all of the dates. Generally, real Eden. And it is surprising even that bedouins, knowing about its existence, prefer - to remain on the adjacent plain which is dried up by the sun. However, our guide Ibrahim who spent some time in Russia noticed in response to our naive bewilderment: you represent, there are also such people who prefer to live in Moscow where in the winter temperature - 30 °C... One more company stereotype was broken down by
for us after arrival to the city of Varzazat. It appears, it, and not so classical Casablanca is “identified“ in this country with a film world as, say, in India Mumbai or Hollywood in the USA. The movie which glorified the financial capital of Morocco with Humphrey Bogart in a leading role was finished actually shooting entirely in Los - Andzheles. And here many other American and European pictures were created and created in North Africa. The reason - the same natural variety. You will turn a chamber in one party - mountain gorges, in another - the burned desert, in the third - the blossoming oasis, in the fourth - medieval fortress - a kasba. As well as in the Crimea which “played“ many landscape roles in the Soviet cinema, the Moroccan lands successfully “put on make-up“ also under cowboy`s Texas, and under Palestine (“Passion of the Christ“), and even under China. It should be added to it cheap labor (Varzazat`s population consists nearly entirely of actors of mass meeting), predictable climate (here “god of operators“ - the sun almost always shines) - and it becomes clear that masters of the most important of arts found the ideal platform. In Morocco such directors as Hitchcock, Bertolucci and Scorsese worked. In total there about 500 movies, including in Varzazat - “Cleopatra“, “Gladiator“, “by Asteriks and Obeliks“ were finished shooting...
Behind red walls of Marrakech
The further we move ahead on the West, the stronger the gap between the traditional way which remained on Hugo - the country East, and the “supercivilized“ coast is felt. Especially it is noticeable in the third - after financial Casablanca and official Rabat - the cultural capital of the country. Of course, the best-known Medina in Morocco, and ancient Jem Square - al - Fna where, as well as a century ago, acrobats twist the somersaults also is behind terracotta walls of Marrakech (this word on - berber means “fine“ or “red“, from here, by the way, and the name of all state), snake charmers act and try to drive public in a trance the same a gnaua. However to us the city was remembered by the atmosphere of “sweet inaction“ which is most of all poured everywhere: not without reason it attracts many years the celebrities which constructed to themselves here magnificent country houses which sometimes are only guessed behind high impenetrable fences. >
Inside without invitation, of course, it is difficult for p to get: private life - business sacred. We faced visiting beau monde in other “scenery“, even in the middle of travel, having seen the peculiar retro organized by Hyatt corporation - rally. Towards to us about one hundred magnificent cabriolets 1960 - 1970 - x moved years: “Mercedes“, “Bentley“, “Rolls - roysa“, “Ferrari“, as if moved down from the exhibition stand. The events reminded a court exchange of courtesies: we, sitting in big SUVs, gallantly passed participants of “parade“, paying a tribute to their graceful sizes and age, and in reply received friendly smiles from the different celebrities flashing behind windshields.
As well as always in the spring, at peak of a season, Marrakech is full of tourists, generally from Spain and Frantion, and also from Israel (there live many Sephardic Jews even since their exile from Spain). Does not lack visitors and all Morocco, as it is unsurprising: this unique country is a rare sample of the safe Arab world today: the Muslim monarchy in which different nationalities and religions peacefully get on. Sometimes in settlements it is possible to see nearby and the characteristic Maghrib mosque with the only minaret (whereas in their other Arab countries usually four or six), both the Christian temple, and a synagogue. This country very much suits our company consisting of people peace and tolerant.