The name and images associated with it aren’t as ubiquitous as other newly “discovered” places like Iceland or Turkey, so when an opportunity to photograph a destination wedding in Marrakesh was discussed, our minds stirred up vague ideas of Morocco: the climates we would need to adapt to, the foods we could expect to eat, the towns and villages we would travel through… the cats we would meet. For all our whirlwind travel we were only there for three weeks (one of our shortest trips yet), but it’s the kind of place you remember well.
Some fragments: With three flights behind us, we arrive in Northern Africa with our packs and patience intact. Amy’s mostly forgotten French helps us navigate the Casablanca transport system with the exception of finding out five minutes to departure that the train to Asilah had been rerouted. We run and throw ourselves into the carriage of the correct train and suddenly our dehydration and sleeplessness simultaneously seize up our bodies and our eyes have difficulty keeping watch over the fading Moroccan countryside. Three hours later and by the light of Morocco’s monstrously large moon, we arrive safely in Asilah. And from then on, things become that much more loose and memorable:
Sipping mint tea while being told three separate stories of Moroccan men marrying foreign European women, having children, and parting ways; the blue medina of Chefchaouen / Chaouen; ever-changing travel plans during the lead up to the Muslim holiday Eid Mubarak has us thinking on our feet and with our Moroccan dirham; cramming ourselves into the back of a grande taxi while careening down back country roads and sharing chocolate wafers with our companions we make it to Fes by the skin of our teeth; Fes is other wordly and wandering it requires years; another entourage is gathered for our travels to Merzouga complete with roadside dance parties, Gnawa music, and the heartiest laughter; hello Ifrane, Midelt, Errachidia – we leave as quickly as we meet; this country changes colours; after a full day of travel, we arrive on the fringes of the desert in Merzouga; a camel trek towards our Berber campsite and chasing desert cats under a brilliant moon that outshone the stars; trekking up the highest sand dunes of Erg Chebbi in the middle of the day and wading down them in sand like rivulets; finding solitude in the dry, the dust, and the quiet of this section of the Sahara Desert; Marrakesh via the High Atlas mountains via Ouarzazate; a destination wedding; drinking in the salty air of Essaouira; an overheated, non-functioning bus on our way back to Casablanca; home, sweet home in Vancouver, via an uncommon and lovely meeting in Amsterdam.
Written by Amy & Tomasz
All photographs by Tomasz Wagner on a Contax G2 using the 21mm f2.8, 45mm f2, and 90mm f2.8
Developed and scanned by ABC Photo
Music — Join Me on My Avalanche by Explosions in the Sky