We were thrilled when we heard that Ray & Nancy McKinley were planning one of their special see & ski trips to Granada, Spain, and various points in Morocco. Yes, there is skiing in Morocco's Atlas Mountains – surprisingly good skiing, in fact. And there is a whole lot of sightseeing in these two countries. We signed up as soon as the trip was announced.
We flew into Malaga and bussed to Granada where we remained five days. We stayed at the Santa Paula, a very elegant hotel in the old downtown section that had been converted from a convent. Jim and I agree that it remains our favorite hotel of all time. (I am finally getting these pictures online in 2012 so we've stayed a few places since then and none have been better.) Luckily the hotel put us into a private dining room that first night because we were all tired and punchy. It was Valentine's Day and someone had brought a bag of sugar hearts that someone else (I'm afraid it may have been me) started throwing across the table. It turned into a light-hearted "food fight," much to the McKinley's chagrin.
While in Granada we enjoyed tours of the city, the justly famous Alhambra, the surrounding Andalusian countryside, and of course, skiing at the Sierra Nevada ski resort. Unfortunately the snow conditions that year were pretty grim and Jim & I elected to ski only one day although some in the group put in two days.
After leaving Granada we took our bus to Ronda, an old town split by a massive ravine. It was beautiful and I keep hoping that we'll get back some day to spend more time. The next two nights were spent on the Costa del Sol with a day trip to Gibraltar.
Finally we boarded a ferry to cross the Mediterranean to Tangier. Although this is the narrowest part of that sea, I had not realized how far east Tangier is from Gibraltar so the ferry ride took most of the day. We spent the next several days touring Morocco with one night in Tangier, two in Fes and three in Marrakesh, if memory serves. While in Marrakesh, some of us made the trip to Oukaimeden for skiing (Jim decided against this expedition). There were only three lifts, but the snow was fresh powder over a decent base and I enjoyed the skiing very much.
The pictures from the trip may be found at: