Muddled in Midelt

Midelt Travel Blog

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The old Palace at Er Rachidia

After sunrise it was back on the camels again and back to our hostel on the edge of the sand dunes for breakfast...another perfect half hour ride away.

During this overnight adventure I learnt a lot about riding a camel....it is so easy when going across flat land but riding up and over sand dunes is an art that is learnt with practise!. When going UP you have to LEAN right FORWARD towards the camels neck...when going DOWN...(this is scarier!) you have to LEAN right BACK ( I think so you don't end up head over ass, over the camels neck, onto the sand!?!). Sounds easy doesn't it...but not when actually in the situation. The camel "saddle" had a metal cross bar thingy that you were meant to hold onto at all costs when travelling along.

Marble fossils
..but my arms were not long enough to hold onto when doing the downhill side of the dunes... So...

Discovered the Inner Nomad in me and just let go of the bar ...yes that's right....I simply LET GO and went with the camel FLOW!!!! and guess what... I was REALLY riding a camel... AMAZING FEELING.

The hostel had an oasis of a courtyard garden and I had time to go for a walk around the ramparts before brekkie...gazing back out across the sanddunes we had just spent the night in. I really enjoyed the "Al Fresco breakfast by the courtyard swimming pool.

We all piled back into our mini bus and chattered away about the glorious night we had shared as we travelled to Rissani and Er Rachidia.

Gateway into Courtyard of a palace...Er Rachidia?
We stopped for short tours through a mosque and old palace and also a fossil/marble factory. The old palace belonged to a family who had moved in and were in the process of returning it to its former glory...a huge task. ( donations were requested to help with this make over).

Couldn't believe the amount of huge slabs of different coloured marble covered with different types of fossils and mined right here in Morocco in the Atlas Mountains. Of course as it was a factory on the tourist route we were given the grand tour and talk about the processes which was interesting, then taken into the "shop" so we could make our purchases. Unfortunately I found the prices too high to contemplate buying anything...and the last thing I needed was a fossil covered marble wash basin or fountain to take home!!!!! Ha Ha.

Hotel Asmaa Midelt
(Truly there were some wonderful items and not all big...eg little camel sculptures etc ...but the prices were high and little bargaining entered into.

A couple of rest stops after lunch (of Tagine!) brought us to our hotel for the night in Midelt. This town is described as a "frontier" town between the High and Middle Atlas Mountains in the ZIZ Valley. Well I cant comment to much on the town itself but the hotel was definitely a "frontier" of its own...Shoddy and musty and grimy and grotty, with a myriad of plumbing problems and no maintanance since about 1945 when I reckon it must have been built! Yuk

All I wanted was a nice clean hotel room after a night in the desert...was looking for at least the standard of the majority of our previous hotels.

Hotel Asmaa shop
So I ended up (with Achrafs help) booking into the Hotel Asmaa on the outskirts of Midelt. There I bought myself some solitude in a Beautiful clean and very comfortable Superior room with a balcony ,view across the western desert , where I  sat and watched the sunset after scrubbing off the sands of the Sahara in the marble bathroom. I guess I needed the space more than anything as I am just not used to spending so much time in such close proximity with a group of people. Dinner was included  so I got a bit dressed up and went downstairs and was able to choose from 4 different dinig rooms to sit and enjoy my 3 course meal. I chose the "green" room after checking out the "blue" room (too many tour groups) the  courtyard foyer (felt too exposed) and the "gilt" room (too posh).
Lovely Moroccan Lanterns
There was a little old man playing traditional instruments in the foyer and so dinner was a very pleasant experience...and the service was extremely personal !!!! (I did not even worry about tipping for once, as it was written on the menu that it was included) An early night and a great sleep in the wonderful surroundings and the next morning a terrific breakfast (this time sat in the courtyard foyer) I had regained my equilibrium and looking forward to our next day of travel together as a group. The night by myself cost a total of $83 Aus. this included dinner and breakfast....Bloody good value!

As I was waiting outside to be picked up by Achraf I got talked into some more shopping in the hotels  outer wall entrance gatehouse souvenir shop. Made some of the best purchases of my whole trip here.

Can you see the snow capoped mountains in the far distance?
Very pleasant no hassle 15 minute bargaining and I bought 4 heart shaped marble pendants with fossils ( which I never saw for sale anywhere else in Maroc!), a small marble camel, and a couple of other little items, and got an excellent photo of the seller and shop display.  Had time to admire the view over the Eastern wall of the snowcapped Atlas Mountains.

Arrived back at the original hotel as rest of the girls were finishing breakfast. They were all very nice about me going off for the night and we piled back into the bus for the days next sights.

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The old Palace at Er Rachidia
The old Palace at Er Rachidia
Marble fossils
Marble fossils
Gateway into Courtyard of a palace…
Gateway into Courtyard of a palac…
Hotel Asmaa Midelt
Hotel Asmaa Midelt
Hotel Asmaa shop
Hotel Asmaa shop
Lovely Moroccan Lanterns
Lovely Moroccan Lanterns
Can you see the snow capoped mount…
Can you see the snow capoped moun…
Hotel Asmaa in Midelt.Inner courty…
Hotel Asmaa in Midelt.Inner court…
Midelt
photo by: Baosafari