We perched ourselves on a ridge overlooking an expansive green river. Two elephants, far off, trekked toward it. I felt like we were in Jurassic Park.
I wasn't prepared for Ngorongoro Crater. The morning air was cool on our way down as we passed villages and zebra in the distance.
Our group marveled at the elephants' quiet chomping and slow movements, giggling at the baby elephant.
There were thousands of cranes - so many that the entire forest of trees was white from their perched bodies. It was loud, and spectacular.
There's so much I love about being among the ruins of Rome, as they stretch across the continents. Amazingly, there were storks among the ruins as well.
Just like Marrakech, the souks in Fes were windy, narrow and bustling. We visited artisans practicing their various crafts, from weaving to tanning to mosaics.
Before reaching Fes, we passed through a forest in the middle Atlas where, quite suddenly, Ismail spotted some Barbary macaques.
We were the last ones to leave our encampment, just a couple of us, and our jeep was packed to the brim with the Berber folks who worked with us. They even climbed on the side.
The Sahara started as a faint orange on the horizon. There's someplace that deserts have to start, and I guess this was it.
The sheer cliffs and rocky river of the sparse Dadès Gorge had little traffic. The sun was setting, and there was an immense quietude.
Once a prominent caravan stop, now only eight Berber families remain living inside the ancient fortress walls. They are the caretakers.
When we reached the top, you could see the painted hills all around us and just marveled at where we were standing, looking at the new town across the river.
The high Atlas Mountains were sparse and dusty, with a lot of construction work and a caravan of vehicles trekking up and up.
Eventually, the swallows swam around us as the evening prayer was marked by the mosque loudspeakers across the entire city.
Some courtyards were lush and overrun with plant life -- others were massive and bare, yet still tiled in greens and blues.
For four hundred years, the voices of 900 Marrakech children reverberated against the Moorish architecture of the Koranic school.
Far outside the city center in the newer part of Marrakech, is the Jardin Majorelle, a garden built in the 1900s and later bought by Yves Saint-Laurent.
The Souks dominate Marrakech life. They are markets, homes, shops. Over the course of a couple of days, we wound in and out of them.
The "incomparable" Palais el-Badi was once a wonder of the Muslim world. Today - and since 1683 - the palace has lain in ruins.
We were amazed when we sat down on the third story of Cafe Restaurant Nid Cigogne near Palais el-Badi and looked across the square. A stork's nest.
In the middle of the Souks in Marrakech, our peaceful, tiled riad was a sanctuary. From the rooftop terrace, we could see the entire city.