Today we are going to Muse about more travelling in Morocco. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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The countryside was green. Morocco had a lot of rain this season. Normally it is barren and more brown. Still it is rocky and with cactus.
About an hour up the road we needed to stop for natures call. In the men’s room I came across this.
This, by the way, is uni-sex: same for the gals as for the guys. You stand on the foot pads and squat.
I share this because it brought back a funny memory. When I was a teenager living with my family in Casablanca, we had a two bedroom house. There were five of us: my parents, my sister, my younger brother and me. My parents had the main bedroom. My sister had the other bedroom. My brother slept in a cot in a hallway and I slept in what normally would have been maid-quarters, a detached complex in the walled back yard. It consisted of a sleeping room and a bathroom with one of those toilets.
In the backyard we had a group of small tortoises. Five, if I remember. They would bump around the enclosed area eating lettuce and other scraps we would give them.
One night I had gone downtown to the movie. When I got home everyone was asleep. I went out in the dark to my quarters and . . . the door to my room was ajar! I had this fear of an intruder being in my room. I knew he would attack me and cut my throat!
I inched into the darkness holding my throat and flipped the light switch. Nothing! The lamp was unplugged. I crept along the wall still holding my throat until I got the bathroom. I reached in and flipped the light switch. Ta Dah! Brilliance! No intruder to rip out my throat.
But then I saw in the toilet, head down, little hind legs poking up, a small tortoise. I figured out I must have left the door unlatched and the tortoise must have bumped it open and proceeded around the room until it got on the slope of the toilet heading downward to the inevitable. I pulled it out. I flicked the hind legs. Flaccid. I don’t know how long it was head down in the water of the toilet but I was certain it was dead. Then, slowly, its head emerged from the shell, eyes closed. It opened its mouth and went, “AAAAAAGGGGH!
I’ve never forgotten.
Anyway back to Rabat.
We were there only a day. It was enough time to go to the Kasbah and view the Sultan’s palace.
Across the road from the Kasbah is the Medina, where people live and have businesses. The side streets were nearly deserted. It took us a while to find our way to the market area. It is like a maze.
Once we found it, we saw the market area was a local market, not tourist oriented. That was refreshing in a way.
Later, we spent a quiet afternoon at out hotel.
The gardens were wonderful and the residential area nearby was upscale and lovely.
In the morning we left for Fes. The fog was just lifting. Rabat is on the coast.
So we were off to Fes.
Not far out of Rabat we went through miles of forest like this.
As you can see, people were camping and picnicking. What caught my attention was the tree trunks. Notice the dark lower trunks.
Did you ever wonder where the cork in your wine bottle came from? You are looking at it. These are cork forests and the lower part of the trunk has been harvested. The bark (cork) has been pealed away. In time, it will grow back and the cork can be harvested again. There are miles and miles of these forests. I had forgotten this.
As we travelled toward Fes we passed many herds of sheep. I was told over two million a year are used in the leather industry alone.
By mid-afternoon we reached Fez and headed toward our hotel, the Riad Fez, in the heart of the Medina. Here we are at the Medina gate near our hotel.
We walked down narrow passages (especially fun at night).
And down more.
Finally, we came to this passage way. The hotel entrance is on the right, just before it gets light.
And, “Voila!”, Riad Fes.
I’ll tell you more about Fes later.
More to come
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