Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ourika Valley

Ourika valley is a beautiful landscape on the foothills of the Atlas mountains only 40 minutes from Marrakech. I had the opportunity to explore this area and it's Berber culture.

The journey I experienced was bittersweet as I soon realized how touristy this area had become. It's close proximity to Marrakech had commercialized the rich berber culture and made it an easily accessible charter bus stop for many happy snap day trippers. I saw many breathtaking views but I found the cultural experience tainted with villagers abandoning thier ways to make a quick touristy buck. I cant blame them as I saw busload after busload of tourists unloading into a once pristine nature trail turned into a market of useless trinkets and cheap berber handcraft imitations.

I made it to the waterfalls but was depressed by the amount of garbage and plastic that lined its slick rocks. The tourism industry obviously had a detrimental effect on the natural landscape as well as the cultural integrity of the berber farmers and artisans. This is simply the inevitable effect of cultural tourism poorly managed and corrupted by commercialism.

Aside from my pessimistic observations, I did manage to find some beautiful images. This is a short update of images but there is much more to come from my 3000 Morocco images.

view what I have posted so far here

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