The Doors of Morocco – Keep Calm and Wander

Doors of Morocco - Alain Ladies and gentlemen, the beautiful doors of Morocco! On my first few hours in Marrakech, I noticed the old, repainted, renovated, run-down and pretty doors of the city. Their charming designs delighted me so I took a lot of photos until I became obsessed. There was even a time when all I was looking for were doors, doors, doors! However, the most interesting ones I saw were at Chefchaouen, nicknamed as “The Blue City.” They’re just not lovely but they’re very photogenic, too! You can’t resist taking a shot when passing them. If ever I’d have a house of my own in the future, I’d certainly design one of my doors like one of these pretty doors of Morocco below.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

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Morroco's Ouzoud Falls

Ouzoud Waterfalls We were picked up from our hostel around 8 in the morning but didn’t really leave Marrakech until 9:30. Our tour bus had pick to up some people from one hostel to another. The journey from Marrakech to Ouzoud Falls was almost three hours with one stop for bathroom break. We finally reached our destination at 12:20 in the afternoon. Our trek guide was already waiting for us and he wasted no time. He gathered us around told us that the hike to the Ouzoud Falls would be around two hours – and it would cost us 3 euros each for his guiding service. When we booked this trip at the hostel, we weren’t informed about this extra/hidden service. All we were told is that lunch wasn’t included in the price (20 euros). This fee was strictly for transport only.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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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Dubai in One Photo

Dubai - Alain These photos show Dubai in a nutshell. You’ve seen the city’s futuristic and postcard-perfect skyline many times, perhaps, but you’ve never seen a photo that speaks volumes of contradictions that aren’t really hard to see. At Jumeirah Beach, where these photos were taken, these camels and their master go for a walk along the beach, luring sunbathers and tourists for a short ride, in exchange of few dirhams.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep CValm and Wander

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Al Ula: the Grand Canyon of Saudi Arabia

Al Ula Is Al Ula the Grand Canyon of Saudi Arabia? From above, it looks like one but not completely like it. The panoramic views of sandstones and rock formations are breathtakingly stunning as the sun goes down. But going up there is quite interesting – you’ll pass through a steep, zigzag road that can be really dangerous.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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The Most Beautiful Starbucks in the World

Starbucks Dubai - Alain A friend (whom I’ve never seen in ages) and I went to Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai with one purpose – to see, try and experience what it’s like sitting in the most beautiful Starbucks in the world. Well, apparently. It’s not just gorgeous but it’s grand and magnificent! The high ceiling dome filled with Persian-inspired art is tantalizing. The arches are resplendently monumental that you’d feel so small when you’re under them. The thing about traveling during Ramadan in the Middle East is that most restaurants are open only after sunset. This Starbucks shop is no different. We were there around 5:30 in the afternoon but they informed us they’d start serving people at 7 in the evening. All we could do was pose and be natural in front of the camera.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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The Old Town of Al Ula – Keep Calm and Wander

Al-Ula - Alain In Biblical Times, Al Ula was called as Dedan. It is mentioned in Isaiah 21:13 as a home trade base of Arab caravans. Today, the old town of Al Ula is a ghost town. No one lives there anymore but there’s a new town that is settled not far from the old. When you think of old towns as a tourist attractions, you’d think of them as fully-renovated places restored for commercial purposes. But these mud brick houses of the Old Town of Al Ula are untouched.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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The Cairo Skyline – Keep Calm and Wander

Cairo Skyline My stay at Hilton Ramesis Hotel in Cairo wasn’t really planned at all. I had to stay in the city one more night while waiting for my employer’s decision on what to do with my expired visa. It’s a long story which will bore you to death. When I arrived at the reception, I specifically told the guy that I want a room with a view of the Nile River – the higher the floor, the better. He assured me that I’d get the room I desired. He handed me the key to a room on the 18th floor. As soon as I opened the door, I dropped my backpack and stepped out of the little private balcony. And instead of the Nile River I was expecting to see, I saw more of Cairo’s skyline that combines the old and the new. The Nile was on my further left and I can see just a little bit enough of it.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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