I feel like every travel blogger has already published a Game of Thrones themed post this year. I’m not always joining these trends. I don’t care about the Top Y Things to do in a Destination X posts. I never read any posts about travel gear other bloggers use. I’m allergic to articles on travel wears. Why would my internet ever need this, anyway?
I don’t think posts on movie locations are particularly cool or anything. I’ll make an exception for GoT though. And no, the fact that I’m a big fan is not the main reason.
I’m a self-diagnosed visual addict. My internet is always down for a photojourney, and a GoT filming location I was lucky to visit earlier this year is a perfect spot to create one.
Once upon a time I went to Ait-Ben-Haddou and took tons of photos.
Once upon a time I went to Yunkai and there were no slaves, no fighting pits, and no blonde queens.
Ait-Ben-Haddou, aka Yunkai, is an UNESCO heritage site located in a middle of beige nowhere a bit outside of the city of Ouarzazate. It’s one of the best preserved examples of a Saharan ksar, a fortified town. Made of earthen clay, it has exactly the same color as the surrounding lands.
Believe me, it feels like the Earth just grew it there one day. It doesn’t look like it was even built, it looks like it was born and left in the desert.
The settlement is almost abandoned today. The caravan route it used to serve doesn’t exist anymore. The buildings, crowded inside fortified walls, are more like monuments today.
Monuments to prosperity of the region that has seen better, busier days. Monuments to surrounding nature that never ceases to amaze a visitor. There are no more caravans, but I guess tourists coming by a slightly overpriced taxi from Ouarzarzate will have to suffice. Well, the dragons might always make an appearance. Or their blonde Mother Queen.
For obvious reasons Ait-Ben-Haddou means way more than Yunkai, even for the history of cinema. Actually, a bunch of other movies was filmed there, including Kundun, Gladiator, and Babel. I’m not surprised. If I ever decide to film anything, I might head to southern Morocco again.
Wait, before you go on the photojourney I’d like to give you a gift. Here is a little soundtrack for you. Here is my favorite remake of the GoT intro by a brand new Armenian music project called VanaTor.
Now, let’s go. We will visit some sand castles.
Which image is your favorite?