Saturday, October 06, 2007


We went for a look around Meknes today. It was also a capital of Morocco at one point (late 1600s) though it is often skipped by tourists for the more popular tourist spots of Fes and Marrakesh. It is still nice, though I am beginning to suspect that all Moroccan cities are almost the same. There is the old medina area that is very confusing, crowded and with lots of markets, and then there's the new town just beside it that was established much more recently (often during the colonial occupation by France) and makes more sense to navigate. The difference lies in how many palaces and gates are still left standing in the medinas. Ok, not exactly true but you get the idea. I still like it. The big thing here in Meknes is the mausoleum and tomb of Moulay Ismail (1672-1727). He is considered on of the great rulers of Morocco, set up Meknes as the capital and proceeded to ruthlessly kick out all the foreign powers trying to move in on his country. He was the guy responsible for the 33 year seige of Ceuta and that only ended because he died. Meknes is also considered to have one of the best old gates in Bab el-Mansour. We spent the afternoon wandering around and trying to get lost in the medina yet again only it was really hard to get anywhere because it is so packed with people. Must be a weekend shopping binge or something. It was wall to narrow wall people (all of 4 feet across) with everyone pushing and shoving and trying to move. How anyone is supposed to look or buy anything is anyone's guess. It's not like a shop maybe 15 feet deep can hold all that many people inside. Bre has given up her mango addiction from Cairo and has moved on to bananas and pomegranites now. It is also the first time we've seen avocadoes since leaving home so we've been stocking up on those too. Maybe soon we'll be green and be able to say "Martian" when people ask our nationality :) I can't remember if I've mentioned this before or not but it is really nice to see all the kids on the streets in school uniforms again. We see them in every city here and most countries we travel through. Don't ever remember seeing any in Egypt or even a school for that matter. They must have them but it is not obvious there. Perhaps a scary sign? Today we got a bit of a shock when we were walking past the signal cannon right at sunset. BOOM!!! We were not expecting that. They signal sunset with a shot every night and then people start chowing down. Much better than the 1 hour lecture at sunset that the mosques would put on in Cairo....
Tomorrow we will move on to Casablanca for a couple days.


At 8:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was interested in reading about Meknes. Not so many people write about this ancient city.
Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities and its name and fame are closely linked to that of the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail.
Thanks for the blog and for the information.


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