19 DEC 2012
I work too much. You wouldn’t believe how much time I put into Vagobond with social media, site research, article writing, editing, finding and working with writers, handling guest posts, and searching for advertising revenue. I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m just saying I work too much. Add in writing, rewriting, editing, and formatting my books and – the answer is that I work too much.
So, this week, I decided to take a break. I hired a car and driver to take us on a Middle Atlas Wonderbreak – my wife, daughter, and sister in law piled in the back seat and I took the seat next to the driver. No grand-taxi crowding this time. Just the right number of people to fit comfortably in a nice car for a day up to the mountains.
We left Sefrou heading towards Midelt and Boulemaine but then turned west towards the alpine towns of Ifrane and Azrou. We passed through the famed Atlas cedar forests where the Barbary Apes reside and stopped to play alongside a lovely mountain lake.
The real purpose of the day though was some playing in the snow. Yes, there is snow in Morocco. We didn’t go to the ski area but instead went to the big snow hill where we rented a homemade sled for 20 dirhams and began some serious downhill sledding action.
Me and the snow bunnies.
We had some great wipeouts that mostly consisted of me getting rolled in the snow, some fun snowball fights, and our little girl got to play in the snow for the first time. She loved it.
From there we went and had a nice tajine lunch in Azrou, walked around the markets, and enjoyed the laid back atmosphere in this incredible little mountain town.
From Azrou, we went to Ifrane town, where the King of Morocco has one of his many palaces. Ifrane looks more like somewhere in the Alps than a Moroccan town, but the cafes are still definitely Moroccan – no doubt about that.
It was an incredibly lovely winter day. I’m glad I don’t work too much all the time because days like this make it all worthwhile.
If you want to ski in Morocco, there are two places Michliffen which is right about where we were. There are ski lifts there that sometimes work, but you can always hire a donkey to take you up and then rent some old skis.
There is also Jebel Toubkal and Oukaimeden near Marrakech. Oukaimeden has lifts which I hear are more reliable than at Michliffen and some say there is slightly better snow there. In addition there are some ski lodges there, but I can only imagine what a Moroccan Ski Lodge actually ends up being like. My recommendation is to go to Ifrane with low hopes and high spirits. You can’t go wrong.