On our way down through the foothills of the Atlas mountains, we stopped at Aït Benhaddou, a ksar (Arabic) / ighrem (Berber), World Heritage Site and filming location for Game of Thrones, The Mummy, Gladiator and others. There is definitely a majesty about Aït Benhaddou as you approach it, picturesque and quiet across the banks of the Ounila River.
We had a guide who told us about its history and walked us up through the alleyways past crumbling kasbahs. When we reached the top, you could see the painted hills all around us, much like the Badlands in the U.S., and we took some photos and just marveled at where we were standing, looking at the new town across the river.
The ighrem is composed of many kasbahs, or fortified towers, where people lived and worked. Their architecture is incredibly stunning and grounded against the desert landscape.
Once a prominent caravan stop between the Sahara and the western cities, now only eight Berber families remain living inside the ancient fortress walls. They are the caretakers.