It has taken me far too long to sort through the extraordinary amount of photos we took when we went travelling to Morocco between April and May last year. However, it has always been my plan to share them with you. As we were travelling, I was trying to pick the best dish that I would then remake at home and share here on the blog – it would have been so hard to pick only one. Luckily, it quickly became clear that one post wouldn’t be enough for all the pictures I picked. So, three posts and three recipes it is going to be. Instead of dividing them geographically, I’m going to separate them by topic: nature, history and people. B. put together a Google map showing our complete itinerary. So, without further ado, let me introduce to you the best, quirkiest and most scenic landscapes, trees, animals and other natural wonders that we came across during our three-weeks wanderings across the country. To accompany them, I used the best blood oranges I could find to make the ubiquitous Moroccan dessert that is sliced oranges with cinnamon and honey.

FC&G_rabat_andalusian_gardens_tree FC&G_rabat_chellah_4 FC&G_rabat_chellah_flowers FC&G_stork_rabat_chellah FC&G_banana_tree_rabat_chellah FC&G_rabat_chellah_2 FC&G_volubilis_donkey FC&G_tizi_n_tichka_atlas_pass FC&G_south_morocco_cactus FC&G_morocco_road_to_ouarzazate_2 FC&G_morocco_road_to_ouarzazate_3 FC&G_morocco_road_to_ouarzazate FC&G_road_to_ouarzazate FC&G_tree_south_morocco FC&G_road_province_sign_morocco FC&G_legzira_beach_arches FC&G_legzira_beach FC&G_goats_argan_tree FC&G_goat_argan_tree

FC&G_almond_tree_3During our last week in Morocco, while we were making our slow way back to Marrakesh, we made an unplanned one-day detour off the road that goes from Agadir to Essaouira to explore Paradise Valley. We spent the night at a small hotel perched between the side of the road that makes its way up the valley, the mountain at its back and the sharp drop to the river below. The hotel had that strange atmosphere that only empty hotels have. The owner was obviously happy to have some guests and gave us a good deal. Once we agreed, he sat us down on the terrace and ordered the waiter (a young, smiley boy in his late teens, who ended up being the only member of staff we met: he served up dinner and checked us out of the hotel too) to bring us a tea. The traditional pot of mint tea came with a snack: some bread and a saucer with honey to dip it into.  As we had the first bite, bees had already started buzzing around the table.

FC&G_paradise_valley_view FC&G_paradise_valley_honey_prices FC&G_paradise_valley_bee_pollen FC&G_paradise_valley_honey_for_sale

Their honey was delicious. Dark, runny with an intoxicating, sweet aromatic smell and deep thyme flavour, it came from the owner’s own bees, whose hives we could see (and hear) not far from the terrace. The next day, before leaving, we bought a couple of jars from the hotel’s little honey shop. Since coming back, we have only once or twice had them, we want to preserve it as long as possible. I did use some of that thyme honey in this recipe, though. I highly recommend using one with an intense flavour, to contrast the sharpness of the orange.

FC&G_moroccan_honeys FC&G_moroccan_orange_honey_cinnamon2

Orange with honey and cinnamon

1 orange per person
ground cinnamon

Peel and slice the orange and lay the slices on a plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle some honey on top and serve.