Ghost ship Bahamas

Ghost of the Caribbean – Bahamas

Just to help you (and me) get over the wet and gloomy summer we have been gifted with in the UK, I will reminisce about my short-lived trip to the Bahamas 3 years ago. I told myself I would be back soon to float on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. And now 3 years have flown by and I haven’t come close.

It wasn’t even planned. We were in Miami, partying it up in Play, accidentally walking into the city´s biggest Strip Club – King of Diamonds when we decided to embark on a day trip to the Bahamas with the Ferry from Fort Lauderdale ( FYI – a day trip ended up being more stressful than relaxing so I would recommend spending more time here).

bahamas

We literally had 4 hours to spend in the Bahamas before having to catch our very bumpy ferry ride back for our last night in Miami – Liv on Sundays. So we made the most of it when we arrived at Freeport Grand ; indulged in Caribbean delights, laid on the white, delicate sand and took a boat trip out into the emerald painted sea.

bahamas

We even had enough time to make a new friend:dog bahamas

bahamas boat

We then got introduced to Ghost – who made an appearance in the Pirates of the Caribbean. This semi-wrecked ship is docked here and is sometimes used as a tourist trap, although it makes for good pictures along the way. It also brought me a little closer to Johnny depp and Orlando!

Ghost ship Bahamas

Whilst I loved my trip to Miami and the Bahamas, it was just not long enough! And while I´m staring out the window watching people run across the street getting soaked, I am pretty damn close to booking a flight back.

Is there such thing as too much sun and beach?

On that note, I hope the rest of your Summer (or Winter) stays sunny. And if not, I hope you booked your next holiday!

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Todgha Gorge

The journey to the Sahara – Ait Ben Haddou and Todgha Gorge

Its been nearly two months since I returned from Morocco and I cannot emphasize how pleasantly surprised I was at what this beautiful country had to offer.

My main reason for the trip was to visit the Sahara desert, however, our journey to this magical place from Marakkech was just as exciting. Tiring, but bloody exciting! When your in Marakkech there are so many tours that offer to take you to the Sahara ( usually marked as a 3 day 2 night trip to merzouga). There are also tours to Zagora, a smaller  desert with far less majestic sand dunes. So if you want to experience the desert in its full force, book the trip to Merzouga. The journey is bumpier and longer but the size of the dunes make up for it.

The tours are cheaper if you book them directly with the tour company (forget booking it online as it costs twice the price). It costs around 90euros but you can get it down to 60-70euros if you persist!

Atlas Mountains

Another thing to be aware of – the journey is not short, so be prepared to be in a van for hours driving through the winding roads into the Atlas mountains with drops of a few hundred feet. Not everyone’s idea of a pleasant journey but you get some amazing views that make up for it, if you dare to open your eyes.

There are two main attractions you see en-route to the Sahara. The first one, on day 1, is Morocco’s very own Hollywood attraction– Ait Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou The Ksar (a group of modest homes made out of the combination of straw, mud and stones) of Ait Ben Haddou is a popular stop along the way to the Sahara, and rightly so. This old village in the Ourzazate province showcases the architecture of southern Morocco and has also been named a UNESCO Heritage site since 1987.

ait ben haddou IMG_9472

Whilst there use to be around 80 berber families living in this compound, only 4 families remain at present whilst the rest have been moved to more modern buildings across the river bed.

ait ben haddou

Inside the protective walls of Ait Ben Haddou you will stumble into an intricate maze of narrow alleys around the Kasbahs( the more majestic fortresses where locals leaders would live) and Ksar’s. Unfortunately you can only enter the gates of Ait Ben Haddou with a local guide ( the required tip is 20dh per person which is nothing), so getting lost in this charming village was not an option.

Although the colours of the street and walls are of a constant red-brown, my eyes never grew tired or bored. Something so simple left more of an imprint on my mind than the houses of parliament and the Big Ben. I felt like princess Jasmine waiting for her magic carpet to arrive at her feet, ready to see the rest of this alluring country.

I am not the only one who was taken away by this fascinating architecture, many film producers have used this old village and the barren, tranquil landscape that surrounds it as the set of famous films such as The Mummy, Gladiator and the Prince of Persia, just to name a few.

ait ben haddouait ben haddou

After a night in a not so amazing hotel in the Dades region, we made our way to see the next of Morocco’s underestimated natural formation –  The Todgha Gorge.

Todgha Gorge

This canyon is not just a sight for the eyes, but also an attraction for professional rock climbers. These majestic walls were carved by the Todgha and Dades rivers. The clear fresh water stream that runs through the gorge works as a gathering spot for the locals to wash their clothes and cool their hard working donkeys.

Todgha Gorge

The beauty of Morocco lies not just in the vast, majestic landscape but in their people. I always find that the poorest countries are homes to the happiest of people. The Berber people, the indigenous North Africans, are surrounded by so much culture and belief. Many of them call themselves “Amazigh” – the free and noble people and there are 6 major different dialects, with different berber families speaking different dialects.

Berber music is a large piece of their culture with rhythmic drum beats that left my feet tapping while we were being driven in our van, hearts beating with excitement for the next and final stop – The Sahara

I never thought for a second that I would arrive in Morocco and keep all my possessions with me but have my heart stolen and that is exactly what happened.

I will be back!