The Road to Tafroute

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With COVID seemingly on the way out, we took a gamble a couple of months ago and booked plane tickets to Morocco. Luckily the country opened up to tourists about two weeks before we were set to leave. We’ve been in Morocco for a week now, and it is fantastic. It’s as beautiful as ever, the sun is bright and warm, and best of all it feels as though COVID is completely over. Travel is back!

After a week getting settled and logging in for a few days of work, we set off from Agadir with a rental car to explore some roads and towns we’ve never travelled before. A friendly car rental agency gave us a Toyota Yaris and a sorta sketchy but good enough baby seat, and we set off for our first real family road trip with the new little baby.

Destination? Tafroute, but really for the purpose of seeing everything on the way. And there is indeed some fantastic scenery and interesting sights.

First up, a very old fortified grain/provision storage kasbah. A random man showed up to guide us around, and if we understood him correctly it dates back to the fourteenth century. The stones jutting out everywhere are stairs leading to many long, dark, and cool storage areas which would have been filled with sacks of food for the winter.

Our guide and his friend also couldn’t resist asking to hold Tilda… and kiss her cheeks. It has already become quite a regular thing and sometimes there is basically nothing we can do to stop it. We hope it helps her build a strong immune system, and it definitely helps to create a friendly atmosphere with all the locals we interact with. One of the men even asked us to take a picture with his phone and took the time to create a cute little meme photo with some stickers and music to go with it.

As the road continued we saw countless hilltop ruins from kasbahs and villages from decades or centuries past as the desert scenery around us started to get more mountainous.

At one point the valley we were following broadened out and a massive hilltop fortification loomed ahead of us. We had to check it out.

It was Kasbah Tizourgane, apparently from the year 800 (again, not sure if we correctly understood the man who opened the massive gate with a giant old key to let us in). Some of the rooms and buildings had been restored and now serve as a hotel that is apparently quite something, while most of the kasbah still stands in decently maintained ruins that allow a glimpse of life into the past and had us wondering what life would have been like in the maze-like passages and behind the tiny, rough-hewn doors.

The whole time Tilda was, of course, fabulous. She had no complaints in the car. She had no complaints as we dragged her through ruins. Even when she needed a diaper change she just let us know and smiled at us as we changed her in the front seat of our rental car. We couldn’t have gotten an easier travel baby.

We climbed higher and higher through the red and brown mountains until we went over a pass and started to descent on the other side towards a fabulous backdrop.

Soon after we arrived in Tafraoute, a small city with a relaxed vibe and friendly people. We sat down for a freshly pressed orange juice, asked a local where we could stay, and a few minutes later we had a fine little hotel room for about €15 a night and a cup of peppermint tea (and a croissant for Tilda, even though she’s a bit young) to greet us.

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