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On Thursday, we took a day trip out of Fes to visit Volubilis, Moulay Idriss and Meknes to the west of Fes.

Day trip from Fes - 15 Oct 15 - 2

We shared a pomegranate with our driver. The seeds were light pink, soft and sweet. Beautiful eating.

Day trip from Fes - 15 Oct 2015 - 1

The 3rd century BC World Heritage listed Roman town of Volubilis houses, among other points of interest, ancient in-situ floor mosaics and olive presses and evidence of great engineering prowess in water reticulation including hot and cold running water.

Volubilis 1

Volubilis 8

Volubilis 2

Volubilis 5 - House of the Acrobat - mosaic

Volubilis 7

 

Heri es-Souani – In Meknes, Moulay Ismail built this amazing structure to house and feed 12,000 horses.

Heri es-Souani 2

Heri es-Souani 1 - granaries and stables

The gate to the city of Meknes.

Meknes 1

Yesterday morning a guide with local knowledge showed us around the mazes that are Fes Medina.

Donkeys and mules still carry goods in and out of the alley ways. Street cats are seemingly in every nook. It’s easy to get lost and, even if you do, it’s an entertainment to find your way.

The tea houses are a meeting place for men only for conversations over hot mint tea, with or without sugar cubes. Each quarter in the Medina traditionally housed a mosque (usually more than one), a fountain for water supplies, Turkish baths, a bakery and a school (Medarsah).

Here are a few of the captures on the walk.

Medarsah Bou Inania where the intricacies of work in cedar, plaster, mosaic and marble come together in a magnificent space with a central courtyard fountain.

Cedar ceiling in a Medersa - Fes

Medarsa Bou Inania - minaret

Fes - Medersa - reflection in courtyard fountain

Artisans in the Medina group together in souqs to sell their goods or services.

Knife sharpeners

Fes - knife sharpener

Copper beaters

Fes - copper pot artisans

Bakers

Fes - bread maker

There are many mosques within the confines of the Medina wall. Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter, but may take photographs in and around the entrances if prayers are not taking place.

Fes - Tijani Mosque entrance

Mosque exterior decoration

The 14th century water clock which measured time by the hour, although experts can’t quite figure out how it worked.

Fes - old water clock

There are food stalls everywhere. We stopped for some fava bean soup with olive oil and cumin as additions. Delicious!

Fes - serving fava soup with olive oil

 

A travel day today with a flight from Madrid to Fes in the north of Morocco. We arrived in the old city late in the afternoon and are staying in a Riad with a courtyard and fountain just outside the most gigantic doors to the room. There have a live-in tortoise roaming the garden.

We took our first reconnaissance of the ancient Medina before dinner. Here’s some of what we saw.

Coming out of our front door.

Fes Medina - 12 Oct 2015 - 7

The Blue Gate.

Fes Medina - 12 Oct 2015 - 6

Fes Medina - 12 Oct 2015 - 4

This man and his friends were all photographing the Blue Gate at the same time.

Fes Medina - 12 Oct 2015 - 3

Fes Medina - 12 Oct 2015 - 5

Fes - rooftop view 12 Oct 2015

Fes Medina - 12 Oct 2015 - 2

Fes Medina - 13 Oct 2015 - 1

Fes Medina 12 Oct 2015 - 8

Fes Medina 12 Oct 2015 - 9

Sunset and swifts. Hundreds of swifts.

Fes Medina 12 Oct 2015 - 10

This will be the beverage de rigueur for the next couple of weeks; not that there haven’t been offers made on the street regarding other substances.

Mint tea - Fes