My plan for the day was the head to Marrakech and look for a painting to hang in my living room. However, after chatting with some of the hotel employees, the idea of visiting a small Berber village called Imlil about 30 miles away started to sound very intriguing. The hotel had arranged for an early dinner at the only restaurant in town. So I threw on my skinney jeans, a trendy blouse, and one of my favorite pair of heals, I wanted to dress appropriately for dinner.
The drive to Imlil was stunning. The scenery was a cross between Colorado in the summer and Arizona in the winter. The Atlas mountains are the oldest mountains in the world so these Berber villages are over hundreds and hundreds of years old. Of course there are modern updates such as satellite dishes resting on top of every mud hut.
Here comes the real plot to this story, I arrive at Imlil via a windy, steep dirt road high up in the hills. The driver who escorted me points to a building lower in the mountains and explains to me that “to get there you need to take that path there and aaaaahhh, it will take you 20 minutes.” Lets see how I can best illustrate the trail I was about to take. Have you ever been mountain climbing? It was kind of similar to scaling Mt. Everest without climbing equipment. Remember how I wanted to dress appropriately for dinner? Skinney jeans, 3 inch heals? I couldn’t turn back so I just started my climb down the side of a dusty, rocky mountain thinking, well at least my headline will be talked about Girl Falls Off Mountain in Morocco while Climbing in 3 Inch Heals and Designer Jeans.
Unfortunately I have now stolen the thunder to the true purpose of this post. I finally arrived at the Kasbah Du Toubkal, a small Kasbah (hotel) with 360 views of the Atlas Mountains and the surrounding villages. The Kasbah is run by a local Berber couple. It seemed to be the only real business in this small village. I was served dinner on the rooftop of the hotel. Again words cannot describe. I have been to many rooftop venues but this one is worth talking about. The entire time I sat there just listening to mules, chickens, and kids playing. They could have been miles away for all I know. I couldn’t help but to wonder about these people’s lives. Do they appreciate the beauty that surrounds them? How knowledgeable are they about the outside world? From what I could see there was no distinction between economic class…everyone had a mud hut, a mule, and a smile on their face.
I was told an interesting piece of Moroccan culture during dinner that I will share. Apparently this coming Tuesday is the Moroccan Christmas. The tradition behind the Moroccan Christmas (still cant remember the name) is that every mother and father is supposed to kill a goat for every child they have. Basically they are making a sacrifice for their children. It reminded me a lot of the holidays with my family! So many Americans are consumed with the challenge of what gift to give their loved ones during the holidays. We should all make a mental note that in some cultures, all it takes is the slaying of a goat!