Aït Benhaddou
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Go on a Hollywood Road trip through the Atlas Mountains: Ait Benhaddou
Drag yourself away from the mystic charms of Marrakech and take a road trip up into the Atlas mountains. It's a long drive I won't lie, but what good comes easy in life?! The rolling hills just don't stop coming, bend after bend the Atlas shares with you it's wares. This is after all the old caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara. Your senses are on edge - not from the mad drivers flying around the mountain edges, but from the scenes that await you. Local women with freshly cut bails of grass the size of a car loaded onto their backs as they walk along the roadside. The mud villages built into mountain sides that look like postcards of villages from yesteryear. The sudden appearance of a majestic fortified UNESCO site called Ait Benhaddou after nearly 6 hrs of none stop winding Atlas mountain road driving. Inside you will meet one of the guides, who proudly shows you a framed photo of the great Oliver Reed who played Proximo in the film starring Russell Crowe, "Gladiator" which shot the slave dungeon scenes here inside the walls of Ait BenHaddou. The Atlas mountains also appeared in scenes throughout the 1999 blockbuster movie featuring Brendan Fraser, "The Mummy". Which helps to explain why suddenly we stumble across Ouarzazate's Atlas Film studios - home studios for the shooting of Cleopatra and Lawrence of Arabia. So you can spend your day trying to spot scenes from some of Hollywood's classic films, whilst dreaming of Kasbah days gone by.
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