Welcome to The Phoenix Files!

This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written over the past 25+ years, as well as my travel journals and announcements.  Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu." 

My travels have had heavy influence on my work and are the 'back story' behind many of my designs. Some of my older journals are revised from the original, and most link to photo albums on Facebook.  

Marrakech

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 5/21/2017 to Travels in Morocco
We depart the Palais des Roses in Agadir and are soon on our way to Marrakech. You can almost hear everyone humming the Crosby, Still & Nash song to themselves ... 

After passing through an unremarkable landscape, our first glimpse of Marrakech is of a medina in the distance, with a mass of rooftop satellite dishes offering a stark contrast to both the sand colored walls and the brilliant blue sky...

From Ouarzazate to Taroudant, and a GPS Fail

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 5/17/2017 to Travels in Morocco
Having left the Ksar of the Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate, we drive several more miles to our next destination of Taroudant.  We reach the downtown district but are unable to locate our hotel.  Mohamed and Doug both roll down their windows and start asking for directions to the street the hotel is on, but everyone they ask are tourists, just like we are.  

A phone call to the hotel provides hopeful direction to the medina...

A race, a fortress, and the Atlas Film Studios

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 5/12/2017 to Travels in Morocco
I wake up to catch the sunrise from my window at the Ait Ben Moro Kasbah. It's pretty cold this morning, with the golden sky reflecting in the skimming of ice on the swimming pool.  I'd give anything for a pair of wool socks. 

Today we leave Skoura for Taraudant to see the Kasbah Taourirt, and then to Ouarzazate and the Atlas Film Studio where 'Kingdom of Heaven' was filmed. 


Kasbah Ait Ben Moro and a Berber carpet shop

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 5/7/2017 to Travels in Morocco
After spending the morning at the Ikelene Mosque in Tinghir, followed by a walkthrough of the stunning Todra Gorge, we head to Skoura and the Kasbah Ait Ben Moro, where my traveling partners learn that if they cannot find me, they start looking for the nearest carpet loom ... 

To Tinghir and Tomboctou

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 4/30/2017 to Travels in Morocco
It's a leisurely morning in the camel camp, a place I would have been happy to stay for two more days, but there are still many sites to see on our Moroccan tour.  After breakfast, we mount our camels and say goodbye to the Erg Chebbe dunes, and head back to the Camel's House in Merzouga.  We find Mohamed there, refreshed and smiling and ready to roll on the next leg of our journey.

Into the Red Dunes

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 4/26/2017 to Travels in Morocco
We end our too-short stay in the exquisite Kasbah Moyahut, and find a young man in a white turban and blue caftan waiting for us out front.  It's Moha, our guide and camp concierge, who would take us into the Erg Chebbi dunes, the tallest in Morocco...

Monkeys, a White Horse, and a Kasbah

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 4/23/2017 to Travels in Morocco
After a final, fabulous breakfast in Fez, we pack the van and hit the road. It's going to be a long day (340 miles) but there will be a lot to see. Doug says there's snow in the mountains but the roads will probably be clear.  At least he hopes the roads will be clear ... 

Fez Day 2 - a tile factory, a cemetery and a souk.

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 4/19/2017 to Travels in Morocco
We're off to see the Souk!

Wafi, our local guide for today, meets is in front of the Hotel Volubilis, and rides with us to our first stop. In the car he gives us a little history of Fez el Bali, the original medina-city. It is the second oldest city in the world after Jerusalem, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989.  It lays claim to the first psychiatric hospital in the world, as well as the first surgical hospital, the oldest university and working library (established by a Muslim woman in 859) and the world's 3rd largest mosque behind Mecca and Medina.  Wafi mentioned that a US flag marks their veterinary hospital, which was also founded by a woman.

Fez - Volubilis and broken things ...

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 4/16/2017 to Travels in Morocco
Descending from the mountains and the Blue City of Chefchaouen, we are soon back in olive groves, cherry orchards, and fields of wheat and lettuce.  Mohamed suddenly pulls over ... there's an open air market that he thinks we should see ... 

Chefchaouen

Posted by Heather Daveno, hatmaker, intrepid traveler on 4/12/2017 to Travels in Morocco
After roaming around the Kasbah of the Oadaias and inspecting nearly every inch of the fortress, we leave the city of Rabat and head towards the legendary Blue City of Chefchaouen, passing groves of cork oaks, hedges of prickly pear, and hothouses filled with banana trees that seem to stretch out for several acres...