East of Marrakesh are the Atlas Mountains.  From the Atlas flows water, creating amazingly green, life-giving oases nestled into even the tightest, most unforgiving valleys.

Tizi n'Tichka

For hundreds of miles these ribbons of green snake their way toward the Saharan Desert.  Ancient camel caravans would travel the route to bring goods to Moroccan cities like Fes and Marrakesh, and cities called “ksars” and fortresses called “kasbahs” were built up everywhere along this route.

One of the most incredible is called Aït Benhaddou, perfectly situated between a river and surrounding hills.  It is over a thousand years old, which is doubly amazing since it is basically made of mud, straw and wood.

Night in Aït Benhaddou

It is no wonder it has been featured in dozens of films, from Lawrence of Arabia to Gladiator to Game of Thrones.  Although we had some rather cloudy weather, the stars still managed to poke through the night sky.

Night in Aït Benhaddou

Ancient ksar (old city) of Aït Benhaddou at night, Morocco. Canon 1Dx. 16mm. ISO 4000. 30 sec. at f/4.