Great Setting, wonderful breakfast
Omar, the guide is telling the 17th Century
history of Berbers being ruled over
by the Arabs
12000 horses were kept here
Damasque is unique to Meknes
We walked in the narrow streets of the
Medine of Meknes
The spice market
Our meeting point before we left Meknes
We had lunch at Volubulis
We all enjoyed Taha's guiding very much
our morning in Meknes with a wonderful breakfast of fresh orange juice and
baguettes with a selection of jams and butter the Moroccan version of crepes and
some type of corn cakes. Also had the best coffee of the trip so far. The
setting, too, was especially lovely as we ate in the hotel's beautiful
courtyard. When we left the hotel, we realized that the gate of our hotel was
just as beautiful as the 300 year old city gate right next to the hotel.
We piled into our van and met our guide for the morning, Omar. Our first stop
was the 17th century stables and granary of King Ishmael. To get there we past
the fortified walls of the old city and stopped at the lake outside the
stables. From here we were able to see many storks that make their home in the
winter in Meknes. The lake was primarily for the horses of the king and his
army to drink. Inside the granary we saw Roman columns, a large wooden door
with the image of a sun, and a old water mill that brought water from the lake
to inside the granary.
The walls were made of Adobe and the ceiling was made from bamboo which appeared
to be fossilized into the roof. The stables had many beautiful arched doorways
and provided shelter for 12,000 horses.
leaving the stables, we drove to the Tuesday gate, which got it's name because
it lead to the market which was held on Tuesdays. Internal gates are
named for the activity that that takes place closest to the gate.
The Mausoleum of Moulla Ismail was next to our hotel. We walked to the
Mausoleum. At the gate we were greeted by the water-man , a man dressed
in a traditional Berber outfit who poured water with his brass cups to
ward off evil. For few pennies, he posed for us.The Mausoleum was also a
working mosque. The architecture was a combination of Arabesque and
Roman arches. The whole building was beautifully decorated with tiles,
painted wood and carvings.
Across the street from the mausoleum, we stopped at a workshop where we
saw a craft that was imported from Damascus: wire imbedded in iron.
After this tour we took a break for
shopping. We visited a shop where a local artisan was doing damascene
work, which entails pounding silver threads into
iron crating decorative
plates, vases, bracelets and other objects.
Then we were off to the market in the Medina where we saw more craftsmen
making jallabas. Inside the Medina market was an array of
sounds and smells including spices and lots of dead animals and body
After this stop, we swapped Omar for our regular guide "Idris" and
headed towards Volubilis. We past through Moulay Idriss, the place
where Moulay Idriss brought Islam to Moracco. The town is cropped on a
hillside overlooking the Roman ruins of Volubilis. We stopped for lunch
at Hotel Volubilis and then toured the site of the Roman ruins. Our
guide Taha showed us around the city which onced had a population of
20,000 people. There were lots of in tact floor mosaics including one
of a jester riding backwards on a donkey, and many Roman gods and other
After this tour we headed to Fes and our first dinner that didn't