Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Morocco update


Many of the Mosaics are fantastically preserved - for now!

Just a taste of the wonderful countryside between Meknes and Fes.

Anyone for fresh chicken? The mincer on the side and the de-feathering box used straight after the chickens are killed.

Everything on the carcass is used, and even this display was attractive.

Beautiful Spices are proudly and carefully displayed throughout the market in a variety of eye-catching designs

The busy square that fronts the markets at Meknes

Beautiful attention to detail in decoration, design and materials, in just about every building

A fountain to was in is always the first item inside or immediately outside a mosque. Here it is outside the Bou Inania Medresse qur’anicschool.

The Palace at Kenehoe(?) where a damn to supply the city is a huge welcome to the Medina and Palace

Bab Mansour gates at Meknes

At last some internet time - so it's a backlog of Morocco moments to let you know what I 've been up to -best to read in order of the days numbered.

Day 3: Meknes-Volubilis-Fes

Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and as we approached it we could see it prominently sited along the edge of a high plateau. Today it is the most impressive Roman site in Morocco and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. We explored the many public buildings and at the House of Orpheus we see several fine mosaic floors intact. The storks were back in force and nesting on the highest parapets. There was even a chick or two.

Back in Meknes we discover the charming streets of the old medina - a perfect prelude to Fes. A modern, interpretive sculpture of the water bearer, important to the life of the city stands at the entrance to the Palace at Kenehoe (?) where many Japanese posed for photos for hours. I was finally able to catch a picture with the guards in the background, and listened to our guide’s explanation of the 7 pointed star of Islam, as well as the “hand of Fatima” on the doors (the door jamb), and the five pointed star of Morocco, all of which appear on the impressive brass doors.

We entered the Medina through Bab Mansour – the largest of Meknes’ Gates, attached to Place Hedim the medina’s main Square and food market, alive with movement. A short visit revealed rows of brilliantly coloured spices, Olives in striped towers, meat hanging in full body from butchers hooks, local vegetables in plentiful supply, and the most beautifully decorated sweets and chocolates to tempt the palate.

Through the Medina’s northern gate, Bab Berdaine, we walked to the shrine of Moulay Idriss who, in the 17th century, turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city. We visited the lovely Bou Inania Medresse (religious qur’anicschool) and after time to explore the old souk we drove to Fes for the night. We ate in a semi Italian restaurant’ La cappodcoia< near the hotel, still a bit gun shy of venturing to far past all the ment hat seem to lounge out the front of all the other bars and restaurants.

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