Cars parked quite far away from the block of stone architecture, this whole building block forms a strong citadel between the desert. A small stream passed by. At this time there was a crowd of white vanes gathered by the river, where there was a stone gate. More than a dozen horses are being gathered. Some people ride horses, and some stand below. They all wear traditional costumes.
“Everyone’s going through it, they’re filming.” – Brahim shouted to the group. I could not avoid the curious eyes, raised the camera, I zoomed in close to see what they were doing. Obviously not local people, because there are people who hold weapons, hoping to be moving under the guidance of someone who seems to be his director or assistant. Looking around me, carpoolers are also showing similar curiosity. “I don’t know anyone in this group, at least not yet.” – because I’m sure it will be time for everyone to start socializing with lunch.
After the film crew, listening to Brazil in a flash, left, the group started to go deep inside the magnificent architecture block that had only dared to watch from a distance.
As he walked, Brahim explained the huge structure of the earth.
Ksar, which means the castle, is the name of a cluster of earth buildings surrounded by high walls, this is the form of housing and pre-Sahara residents, when this desert has not yet invaded here. Ksar, though thought of as a Berber castle, is actually the size of a small village.
The houses are crowded together in walls for defense purposes, reinforced by corner towers. Ait Ben Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, is an outstanding example of the architecture of southern Morocco. Inside the walls, many crowded houses – most of them are modest in size, but they all have the upper part adorned with clay brick motifs.
Brahim does not forget to talk about the site being recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage thanks to architecture. He proudly boasted about the movies that had been filmed, there were movies I had seen but never realized until now.
It only takes 10 minutes to reach the highest point of Ait Ben Haddou. The surrounding landscape could not be called overwhelmed by the mightyness, but it made people laze on the desert’s wildness, the vastness of sandy soil running to the horizon, only running until it hit the range Atlas this morning just passed.
Before leaving the city of the land, people stopped on the side of the road so that each person could wear a hooded cotton towel. Being accustomed to the red fire temperature in Vietnam, the 30 degree weather in Morocco currently does not absorb the tower. Kim and I did not mind, rushing to sit at the restaurant across the street because the stomach had nothing but a piece of khobz bread left abdomen with a cup of hot milk coffee.
The restaurant is decorated with colorful patterns, at first glance it looks like a riad in the middle of the desert. Color blooms like spring grass flowers, on each wall are pieces of tiles put together to create a mosaic mural with repetition. But the feeling of lack of sophistication is often seen in the riad in Marrakech. But the pool on the inside of the restaurant made the visitors feel more sympathetic because looking forever deserted out there, the turquoise color of the water under the Sahara sunshine was so smooth.
It took more than fifteen minutes later, the van’s group of friends appeared at the restaurant. I’m hungry myself, so I don’t care who is sitting around the table, just grab the menu to order. A grilled skewers combo and Moroccan salad, I crave vegetables too much. Kim calls a barbeque piece to add pumpkin soup. I was glad because I liked the pumpkin soup very much, I would eat it with her. But neither of them suspected it was a wrong decision.
Leaving my eyes from the lunch menu, I realized that beside me is a couple from Colombia, a small girl of a meter and a half, and a bald guy with a well-built body, more clearly the result of training by wearing white long-sleeved shirt hugging people. On the opposite side is the Belgian family, the couple and their two daughters but higher than me, the best identifiable trait is the orange hair color, and the hair is curly.
After questions like “Where did you come from”, “first time in Morocco?”, “What days are you here?” Then the whole table has nothing to say. I turned to talk to Ms. Kim in Vietnamese. The Colombian pair started the conversation in Spanish. The Belgian family from Bruges should speak in German. The good thing about traveling with a Vietnamese person is that there can be public conversations but still very private in your native language.
“Anyone playing with me?” – the voice of the Belgian family’s mother said, she was stirring Uno cards in her hands. I forgot the conversation with Mrs. Ky immediately and smiled a wry smile. Boardgame is my favorite thing in the world. Especially Uno, because of the sweet memories.