THE ART OF TRAVEL
gather wander create
From the moment you step off the plane and step out of the airport, you will feel that exotic quality, a flutter in your heart, an excitement in your body and an awakening of your senses.
Fragrance linger in the air, as you breathe you are aroused by the new and unfamiliar yet welcoming scents. As the divine sound of the call to prayer kisses your ear you will be swept away by the enchanting sound and part of your heart will never want to leave again. Your eyes will be delighted at the activating patterns and colours that will meet you on every turn on this captivating journey.
THIS ALL INCLUSIVE 15-DAY ADVENTURE ALLOWS YOU TO EXPERIENCE THE MAJESTY OF MOROCCO WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE DETAILS. OUT HOTELS ARE HAND-PICKED TO ALLOW YOU TO RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR TRAVELS, DELICIOUS FOOD TO TEMPT ALL CULNARY DEVOTEES, AS WELL AS OUR HAND-CURATED COLLECTION OF EXPERIENCES DESIGNED TO RELAX, RENEW, AND INSPIRE…
Kate Thompson’s 4 day workshop where we will explore expressive portraits inspired by exotic images of Nomad Women in our Sahara Studio.
As we travel through Morocco we will collect objects on the way that we can incorporate into our art. Inspiration from the textiles, colors and imagery of Morocco. We will also mix some of the Sahara sand into our paints to create impasto techniques to make our paintings rich and 3-dimensional.
We will create collage pieces and stitch them to strips of cloth to make what I call Vestments. The dictionary description says an official or ceremonial robe. These portraits will be ceremonial pieces full of images and objects that are personal to each student because we are really creating ourselves with these pieces.
I will teach you basics to create a portrait - this class is for all levels. We will also use image transfers for some of the work that you can paint over.
I am also in the middle of designing some stencils, Persian rugs and Moroccan rugs, for Stencil Girl and those will be provided for the workshop to make gorgeous backgrounds for our portraits.
We will do hand stitching along with painting with acrylics and watercolors.
I start off my portraits using loose charcoal and a brush for the under painting. I am a true experimenter and each student that signs up will get two of my online classes for free that will introduce you to some of my unusual techniques.
This Art + Travel Journey, will have Kolleen Harrison, our lovely Yogi + love revivalist, traversing the trade route with us, guiding our Wellness Rituals as we begin and end our days together . . .
We believe that travel can support your wellness and gentle yoga and meditation sessions will set us up for a truly restorative adventure.
"No-one has ever seen this place in the same way you're seeing it right now, right here, in this moment." Together we will create travel journals that will take us on our own internal voyage. By using simple mindfulness techniques we will share ways to develop a happy, peaceful mind. We will guide you through a variety of prompts designed to help you thoroughly live each moment during this journey of a lifetime, documenting, saving memories, insights and inspirations along the way. Every moment is precious. Every moment is unique.
Once described as a country whose roots lie in Africa but whose leaves breathe in European air. Morocco’s rich history, multicultural population and varied geography make it a fascinating country.
Morocco’s villages and cities offer a striking contrast of ancient kasbahs, mosques and souks and modern architecture, with a mix of Berber, Arab and African peoples. The Atlas mountains run like a spine from southwest to northwest, separating the cities from the desert.
As group of like-minded creative souls we will embrace this rich culture, and explore local customs and traditions as we journey through this ancient caravan route, from Marrakech to the Sahara. It is our hope that it inspires and connects you to the magic and mysteries of Morocco.
Throughout our journey together we’ll weave creative learning experiences of our art workshop into uniquely personal artworks - while we seek inspiration in the colors, culture, and connections we find on our adventure from the Marrakech Medina down through the Sahara.
The time together will be the infused with locals, traditional artisans and cultural diversity. We’ve taken special care in planning an itinerary that will both serve and inspire you.
Due to the nature of this trip all the rooms including deluxe tented Sahara Experience are based on twin share, there will be no single rooms available. While the itinerary is planned and booked, we do leave room for serendipity and possibilities that may await us during our adventure together.
Often the most memorable experiences are the ones that aren’t planned so please be aware that it is our goal to provide you with a magical and memorable Morocccan Carpet ride, so pack light, bring an open mind, open heart and your portable studio and let’s go!!!
THIS IS THE ARTISTS DATE YOU HAVE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT, JUST SAY YES, AND LET US DO THE REST!!
DAY 1: Wednesday, 2 October, 2019
ARRIVAL TO MARRAKECH
If possible plan your arrival for late morning/midday and you will be met at the airport and transferred to our Boutique Riad. You will be welcomed with Moroccan Mint Tea. After settling in, and lunch, we will be off to the spa for a relaxing Hammam and Massage to reinvigorate you from your travels.
Evening brings a beautiful Welcome Dinner Party, with henna artists to decorate our hands as we begin our adventure together, as we enjoy our first sunset together.
**For those interested we will spend a few moments Each evening in our journal, in reflection.
DAY 2: Thursday, 3 October, 2019
Our mornings will start with our lovely Yogi + Love revivalist, Kolleen Harrison, who will begin each day with our Travel Welllness Rituals, yoga + meditation session (for those interested in waking early). During breakfast we will have some journal time to set our intention for our day. We will be met by our guide, for a walking tour of Marrakech’s ancient Medina. You’ll learn a bit about Marrakech and enjoy a visit the beautiful 19th century, Palais Bahia, then onto the Palais Badi. Following lunch we will enjoy the beautiful Majorelle Gardens, a magical and lush small garden estate designed by Jacque Majorelle and maintained by Yves Saint Laurent. The Majorelle Garden is filled with colorful walkways, ponds, cactus and plants as well as a beautiful shop with hand-made goods, we will see the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum as well.
Dinner together at a restaurant enjoying Marrekech.
DAY 3: Friday, 4 October, 2019
After our morning rituals, and breakfast our driver will pick us up at 9.00 am at our Riad. We depart Marrakech and cross the famous Tizi n Tichka Pass in the High Atlas Mountains. Here everything changes and a very different Morocco emerges. From the barren desert to the stunning red rock mountains outlined by lush green river beds, the contrast is spectacular and all that is needed for breathtaking landscapes. We’ll explore casbahs and stunning villages along the way. We will visit Kasbah of Telouet, then onto the ancient fortified village of Aït Ben Haddou, and delve into its warren of twisting lanes. Ait Benhaddou is one of the best preserved and most spectacular kasbahs in Morocco. We will see have lunch there and continue onto Skoura.
Dinner amongst the Palm Groves.
DAY 4: Saturday 5, October, 2019
After our morning Rituals and breakfast we will depart for our day, enjoying and exploring Skoura, Roses Valley and Boumalne Dades.
Dades valley, one of the most beautiful areas of Morocco. We will off road through the Rose Valley, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we will continue to Todra Gorges and have a walk through spectacular landscape.
Dinner together at the Lodge.
DAY 5: Sunday, 6 October, 2019
After our morning Rituals and breakfast we will continue our day exploring the valley of the Draa River with millions of palm trees and interessting old Kasbahs. We will have lunch in Zagora. Then continue on to the village of Tamegrout where you will visit an ancient library with ancient manuscripts. You will also visit a local pottery factory. Tonight will be at Kasbah Ait isfoul, our home in the desert. Tomorrow starts our 4 day workshop with Kate Thompson.
Dinner tonight will be under the stars at Ait isfoul.
DAY 6-9: Monday, 7-10 October, 2019
AIT ISFOUL: 4-DAY WORKSHOP
Our workshop days will start following our breakfast and yoga and contemplative time, We will stop for lunch and then resume our afternoon art session.
Dinners will be created and served to us by our in-house Chef Mohamed!! You are free to spend as much time in and around the workshop exploring the local area, village and learning to cook Moroccan food with Chef Mohamed for any txt may be interested!
Day 1 and 2 we will focus on the portraits and create several pieces with different mediums.
Day 3 and 4 we will choose our favorite portrait or two and create the ceremonial garment to complete the picture.
Day 4 is the local souk (market) and we will be going at 9 for a visit to see how we shop desert style!!
DAY 10: Friday, October 11, 2019
After our morning yoga and mediation followed by breakfast, we will begin our journey to the dunes of the Sahara, Erg Chegaga. In our 4-wheel drives we head into the desert, stopping for a picnic along the way to our Luxury Tent Camp complete with hot and cold running water, beds and duvets, showers and toilet. Once in the camp we will settle in and will enjoy a camel ride and yoga amongst the majesty of the sacred sand. The desert at this time is truly an amazing experience, complete with a golden glow and long shadows. Here we will hopefully enjoy a magical sunset.
Dinner under a starry night followed by the beating of Berber drums around a fire.
DAY 11: Saturday, 12 October, 2019
After a sunrise yoga and meditation, followed by our breakfast and journalling we will begin our journey, which covers the desert with varying scenery – sharing tea with nomads, as we make our way to the village of Foum Zguid, where lunch will be served. We then continue on to Taznacht, and go to a carpet collective to see the women weavers and the carpets they make still in the traditional way. We spend the night in Taroudant, located in the Souss Valley in the southern part of the country. It is known as (Little Marrakech) because it is a scaled down, slowed down town that resembles Marrakech with its surrounding ramparts. Unlike Marrakech, Taroudant contains almost the whole city within its walls.
Dinner will consist of an authentic Tajine cooking class at our Boutique Hotel
DAY 12: Sunday, October 13, 2019
After our yoga and meditaion, followed by breakfast, we will tour, Dar al Hossoun, by horse and carriage, along the ramparts then towards the medina and the nearby souks.
We will then go to Sidi ou Sidi, one of the oldest Berber houses in Taroudant, built of abode, and where can be found a wide range of rare plants. We will have our lunch there.
After lunch we will travel on to the former Portuguese ﬁshing village, Essaouira. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pitstop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand.”
Dinner will be at our local Restaurant.
DAY 13: Monday, October 14, 2019
After our morning yoga + meditation, followed by breakfast, we will enjoy a brief walking tour of the fishing village. We will then make the drive back to Marrakech. We will see the Goats in the Argan Trees and see how the women’s cooperatives turn the nuts into Argan oil. We will enjoy gourmet lunch along the way. We willbasket weavers, potters and artists at work. Once settled back into our Riad.
Our dinner will be walking food tour with Tasting Marrkech which is a food and cultural tour, exploring the famous Jemaa el Fna square.
DAY 14: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
After our morning yoga + meditation, followed by breakfast we will visit the Tiskiwin Museum, a private museum dedicated to popular arts & crafts, styled as a beautiful Spanish-Moroccan house. Next, we will be inspired by the artistry of the Berber women who craft some of Morocco’s famous carpets at the Musee Boucharouite, followed by a visit to one of my favourite fixer + carpet dealers in the Medina, to enjoy the diversity of the carpets up close and personal.
After a lunch you will have free time to wander the souk.
We will have a farewell Dinner tonight celebrating Morocco and our new friendships.
DAY 15: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Our last breakfast together after our yoga + meditation will Kolleen Transfers to the Menara Airport.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
Transfers to and from Marrakech Menara Airport on arrival and departure days
Transportation by deluxe 4 X 4 vehicles
14 nights lodging (double occupancy)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner throughout the trip
All Guides + Entrance Fees
Camel ride in the Desert
Deluxe Bivouac (tent) in the Sahara Dunes
4 day Workshop with Kate Thompson
Daily Yoga + Meditation
Welcome Spa + Hammam
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
Airfare and travel costs to and from Morocco
Travel Yoga Mat (if interested + you have one)
Additional nights lodging or any add - on tours
Small amount of personal art ephemera + supplies (a supply list will be sent out from Kate Thompson closer to the gathering)
Favourite portable Art Journalling Supplies
Personal spending money
Tips and gratuities
DEPOSIT: RETREAT WITH SHARED ROOM
PAYMENT IN FULL: Due June 2, 2019
"After our incredible trip with Michelle and Kamal, I am completely spoiled for international travel! The wonderful local connection of these two took us deep into the true culture and lives of the warm and giving Berber people.
Our trip was personalized to our interests, adding experiences that we had no idea to ask for and enriching our visit. The trip was an authentic and wholesome adventure into the rural and traditional Morocco. We came away glowing and inspired with real experiences- and with two new amazing Moroccan friends!"