we walk into this ...(just like being in a movie)
04.02.2017 - 04.17.2017
I woke up to the sounds of the "call to prayer" this morning. All is quiet and then you start to hear the long chant which, once again, reminds me that I am in a totally different environment...or as Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz) put it...."we ain't in Kansas anymore". After breakfast we start our journey to Fes. Once out of the city limits the views are very scenic...the Middle Atlas mountains in the distance, fields of lavender, on the edges of the forest stands with truffles being sold, Olive trees and farms with sheep. I also notice that even the small villages have their own mosques.
From a distance we can see the UNESCO World Heritage site that we came to see. This city was the administrative center of the Roman Empire. Volubilis was a bustling city and is one of Morocco's best-preserved Roman ruins.
We continue on to Meknes where we view the Mansour Gate which is known for its beautiful zellij mosaics and take a tour of the medina there.
On the way we notice many people: men, women, children on the highways and in the bigger towns....begging. Signs that say we are Syrian refugees. Mohammed tells us that refugees are accepted in Morocco. Because of their strong religious beliefs and the fact that these refugees are a repercussion of war...their motto is: all accepted.
Mohammed has a goal. By the end of this tour we will be able to speak a few words of Arabic. He distributes a sheet with some basic words and phrases and.... we begin: Salam alikoum (hello), Chokran (Thank you). Sounds like we need some practice.
On the way to Fes we stop at a store to pick up some wine for our stay the riad: Riad Salam Fes. We walk a short distance thru the medina which is a bit different than the one in Rabat. This one has very narrow path and not many shops where we are. Not that we notice anyway. The buildings look very bland and basic...many in need of repair from the looks of the exterior walls. I would love to venture out thru the medina but its been a long day and I'm quite sure I wouldnt be able to find my way back. It is quite the maze and I can see no obvious landmark to use as a guide. If I were to take this opportunity, along with my very recently-learned limited Arabic, I see a long night ahead.and not one that I am up for at the moment. I spot the sign to our hotel and step inside. Now I can explore.... This is Morocco. This screams Morocco. Wow! I have no words:
I thought I had no words. I have words: I feel like I stepped into a storybook. " Ali Babaland". We are welcomed with "Moroccan Whiskey" and almond cookies and shown our rooms for the next two nights.
After a tasty kebab dinner we retreat to the rooftop for a glass of wine and then......to bed.