Friday, 23 October 2015

Casablanca, 28. September, 2015

A six hour long bus ride from Chefchauen to Casablanca is not fun, but it was necessary. This time was enough to phase over from the quiet mountain village atmosphere to the noisy and big city. Jeruen rode the bus today to Tangeer as the next station starting his last week in Morocco, and I took the bus to Casablanca to fly out tomorrow on my way home.
In the city I visited the third biggest mosque in the world. It's HUGE, is beautiful, is located on the coast of the Atlantic ocean.
In the afternoon I meandered around the streets of the Quartier Habous. A very old neighborhood filled with new shops that sell traditional Moroccan art and pastries.
My last dinner in Morocco I spent in Ostréa restaurant near Casa Port at the port of Casablanca. I missed fish. Since we were not on seashore areas I never ordered fish. But now the sole fillets were paired with orange sauce on my plate. :-)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Chefchauen, 26 - 27 September, 2015

The town of Chefchauen was found by Jews and Muslims exiled from the Iberian peninsula in the late 15 th century. Chefchauen is the northernmost point I touch on this trip. The town lays in the Rif mountains, a scenic location within the green gorges. The entire town is painted in different shades of blue. The houses, the sidewalks the stairs of the medina, everything. This gives the city a magical charm. The view from the Spanish mosque on one of the neighbour hilltops provides an exquisite view on the medina. The town is calm, much more quiet than all the others we have been to.
The air is fresh, the evenings are almost cold, but the fresh chicken lemon tageen warms up the tourist from the inside. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Fez, 24 - 25 September, 2015

We arrived in Fez after a short train ride from Meknes. The Eid was still going on, so most of the shops were still closed in Fez on our both days. By now all sheep were killed. No more mee-mee. Their skin layed all along the streets, we are trying to avoid them because they smell really bad. Their heads are burned in various locations in the town using charcoal on the streets. Skulls, horns and skin are all around the city. It's a totally different view from what an average tourist can get on another day. It's very authentic though. The Medersa was however open.  Its wall decoration was very intricate.
Our afternoon for in the Jewish quarter, the Mellah was quite interesting. We entered the cemetery, and found graves of famous rabbis of which I've never heard I must admit. The cemetery is very well maintained and clean.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Volubilis, 23 September, 2015

Our day trip to Volubilis was a very good one. Besides the interesting Roman ruin we also had interesting experiences of getting there and back from Meknes.
We decided to take the bus to Moulay Idriss. The bus was old, not maintained, dirty, and full of stains of pukes of people who are not used to motorized travel. But all that has just added to the challenge. People were boarding the vehicle with huge packages of agricultural goods. After arrival the taxi drivers wanted to ask for to much money for the way to Volubilis, about three times more than we would expect, so we decided to walk. We had enough water and time, and the weather was not to hot either so we had a nice walk which lasted an hour or so.
The UNESCO world heritage site is clean, very well maintained and has interesting history. Volubilis was one of the farthest outposts of the Roman Empire established in 40 AD. In its peak the city might have housed up to 20000 people. The site includes the triumphal arch, basilica, capitol and baths. Many mosaics remained undamaged.