Early Morning in the Medina in Fes – Keep Calm and Wander

Alain - Medina in Fes The moment I entered the medina in Fes, I was met with a lot of annoyances. A simple “thank you” with a smile didn’t work, so I ignored the scammers and hawkers. The first scammer told me that the hostel I’ve booked had already been closed a week ago. He then recommended me a very nice one for a cheaper price. The second scammer pretended to be helpful by showing me the way to my hostel, but I was very quick to tell him nicely that I’d be fine to find the hostel on my own. We had a little argument until he realized that I wasn’t going to let him win. He looked at me like he could crush me in one blow. The medinas in Morocco almost have the same thing to offer. They awaken your five senses in all corners along potholed alleys and narrow main streets.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Roman Ruins of Volubilis – Keep Calm and Wander

volubilis-morocco-fes-mekness-7 The Roman ruins of Volubilis is a testament that the area was once a progressive city that held power and might. The imposing pillars and arches show grandeur of Roman architectural style. The ruins are reminders that the Romans were there, settled, conquered it – and vanished.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Morocco Rocks the Kasbah

Morocco kasbah-du-toubkal-main-lodge The only time I ever thought about Morocco was when Casablanca was on Turner Classic Movies or someone mentioned Bogie and Bacall, but that changed abruptly when I was offered an opportunity to participate in a leadership retreat in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. My journey began in Marrakech. I flew Royal Air Maroc, traveling on a fresh-off-the-assembly-line Airbus. Very new. Very big. Very full. With only 36 hours to explore Marrakech, I immediately searched out my hotel, the Riad Balkisse (4 Derb Charij Riad El Muhka, Tel: 212-5243-81998. www.riadbalkisse.com), which was admittedly not luxurious, but clean, hospitable, extraordinarily affordable, and located within Marrakech’s red-walled medina, a fortified labyrinth built by the Berbers in the 11th century. Originally intended to keep invasive marauders out, the walls can no longer contain this thriving urban center of nearly a million residents, plus many more tourists. Marrakech is a mix of ancient and contemporary influences. A university student told me that the dominant attitude throughout the city is “open Islam,” which accepts many Western ideas about other religions, human rights, women’s rights, education, and sexuality. Residents and tourists in mini-skirts and designer jeans engage with women in veils and men in traditional fezzes. Music is a mix of world, Western, and Berber rhythms and instruments. Architecture blends ultra-modern with classic Moroccan elements like tiles, interior fountains, and lavish textiles. Outside the medina, streets are congested with cabs, scooters, and buses. Luxury hotels and over- priced restaurants are crammed along main traffic arteries along with trendy boutiques, banks, and the ubiquitous Starbucks.

By Stephanie Blackwood – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate, Morocco – Keep Calm and Wander

taourirt-kasbah-ouarzazate-morocco-10 When “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed at the nearby Ait Benhaddou, all other kasbahs in Ouarzazate became known, too. Taourirt kasbah is just one of the many in the area. It was once an important kasbah in the country’s trading history with rest of Africa. What I like most here is that only a portion was carefully restored and the rest are genuine parts of the old days. Outside, the kasbah glows pink at midday and gold in the afternoon. It’s along the highway and right across the Atlas Film Studio Museum.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Majorelle Garden – Here Lies Yves St Laurent

Majorelle Garden At Majorelle Garden in Marrakech (Morocco), the legendary French fashion designer, Yves St Laurent rests peacefully – among bamboos, cacti and other exotic plants. “The Blue House” or “The Blue Mansion”, as the locals call it, is an amazing oasis of tropical plants, a fountain and a lily pond. The garden was owned by a French painter, Jacques Majorelle, who dedicated his life turning the two and a half acres of land to a delightful garden that is now today. In 1980, the garden was bought by fashion icon, Yves St Laurent who fell in-love with the city. Many of his designs were inspired by the beauty he saw around the country.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Atlas Film Studio Museum in Morocco – Keep Calm and Wander

Atlas Film Studio Ouarzazate is the door to the Sahara, the world’s longest desert. And believe it or not, the desert here is backdropped by snow-capped Atlas Mountains – even in summer. It’s only here where you can see that extreme scenery of nature, totally different from each other but they blend well as one landscape that’s made to perfection. Perhaps, you’ve seen these landscapes in Hollywood movies before – but maybe, you thought, “Ah, they’re just cinematic effects, or computer-generated images.” You could be wrong. Or you could be right. Movies like Gladiator, The Passion of Christ, Prince of Persia, Alexander, Cleopatra, Jesus of Nazareth, Babel, Lawrence of Arabia and many more were shot at Atlas Film Studios, just outside Ouarzazate. Aside from a huge studio, they also have the Atlas Film Studio Museum where some rooms here were used in the movies.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Dynamite Travel, LLC – Lesbian Owned Travel Agency

Dynamite Travel, LLC Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay: ABOUT US Dynamite Travel, LLC was founded by Dr. Terika L. Haynes in 2008. Our goal is to assist all customers with creating unique travel experiences. Over the years Dynamite Travel’s LGBT client base has grown and with new laws being passed we are excited to work with couples not only on vacation planning but also destination wedding planning as well! Dynamite Travel is a company dedicated to creating unforgettable vacation experiences and the team at Dynamite Travel has the credentials, experience, and expertise necessary to make sure that your travel adventures are a blast! At Dynamite Travel we are committed to providing personalized service to each customer. WHAT WE PROVIDE Dynamite Travel works with clients to plan their vacation while keeping them involved in the planning process. We provide vacation planning assistance services for vacation packages, cruises, tours, destination weddings, honeymoons, group travel, and more! We also assist customers with excursion planning, dinner reservations, and anything else that will make their vacation experience unforgettable! OUR MISSION AND VISION Our mission is to provide high quality travel planning assistance to each client, ensuring that they have an unforgettable vacation experience. Our vision is to become a leading travel consultancy for clients around the world.

See the Dynamite Travel, LLC Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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Karnak Temple – The World’s Largest Open-Air Museum

Karnak Temple Karnak Temple in Luxor is both an interesting and photogenic archaeological site. There are so many things to discover here, and in fact, I saw a few people in the area still digging and brushing important stones / relics that could help them understand further on the history of the country. This is a vast open-air museum were broken pieces of structures, cracked walls and missing parts of statues are ubiquitous. From north to south and east to west, you’ll be feasting on hieroglyphs that covered walls, columns and altars. Statues of gods, goddesses and pharaohs are in every corners, standing like proud guards of the temple. This is simply a place you won’t miss when visiting Egypt.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Egypt for Love – Breakaway Backpacker

Jaime Davila Currently on my way home from Cairo to Houston via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. I know shocking and before y’all freak out yes everything is fine in Cairo and Him & I. In the last 24hrs I think I may have slept like 4hrs total. I still have over 4hrs to go on this flight. I’m exhausted and even though I’ve been trying I can’t sleep and am going a bit stir crazy. I’ve already watched Steve Jobs, Suffragette, Ivory Tower, Our Brand is Crisis and The Good Dinosaur. Yeah, I have this problem when I am on a flight that has free movies, I feel like I must catch up on movies I haven’t seen and watch as many as I can. For now though I’m taking a break and to keep my mind busy I figured I’d write a blog post because I know everyone has been wanting to know about well… I’ll start with my return to Cairo. I arrived out of the blue to Cairo on February 29, exactly 3 years and a day (thanks leap year) from the date I left. He knew I was coming back soon, but I never told him the exact date. After the last goodbye my plan was always to just show up at his door one day. I arrived on a direct 10 hour flight from Bangkok to Cairo on Egypt Air. I was beyond nervous and scared to arrive in Cairo because thought I wouldn’t get the VISA on arrival and was also terrified of seeing him.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakaway Backpacker

Egypt Gay Travel Resources

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Climbing the Great Pyramids

Great Pyramids - Alain Before going to Egypt, I really thought that climbing the Pyramids is a big No-No thing to do because they’re ancient, fragile and they have to be protected at all cost. Boy, I was so wrong! Apparently you can climb the Pyramid as high as you can–that is if you can find your way to the top. Well, you aren’t allowed to climb in all three of them but in only one: The Pyramid of Khafre (or the middle Pyramid). Somewhere, I read warning signs, “No Climbing” but only in certain areas of the said pyramid. Nearby, guards are watching people go up and down the steps. And if they think you’ve gone high and far, they’ll remind you to stop and come down.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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