Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
Aït Benhaddou - Kasbah worth RockingJimi Hendrix and Angelina Jolie. Two folks I'm expecting to run into at any moment. The first, quite deceased, would appear in this "castle made of sand" through a hashish hookah haze. The other would be in the bar at the movie studio up the road in Ouarzazate wondering where Brad and the kids are. At least according to the locals we're talking with.
Aït Benhaddou ksar is one of the tourist things tourists should do when in the area. Benhaddou is a testament to the style and engineering that allowed the most meager existence to be carved out of this inhospitable place. The site is frozen in time with all the people inside, giving it a more worldly feel than any museum piece. Artwork and the last load of laundry hang side-by-side revealing daily life of the families that still live within the walls.
I spent a fair amount of time trying to comprehend the architectural legend that defines a kasbah. Four towers at the gated entrance? Four sets of four towers as the central compound? I am still searching for an answer. Regardless, it is as impressive as it is beautiful.
Jolie and Pitt have a kasbah of their own nearby; Ouarzazate is the western Sahara's Holywood. Hendrix did spend time in Morocco. His castles slipped into the sea, down around Agadir, I believe. Benhaddou could have easily been swallowed by the river it rests on. The UN made sure that's not going to happen. Go, look, dream. You never know who you'll run into.