Morocco and the Sahara Desert
I recently accompanied a Smithsonian Journeys trip called Splendors of Morocco. What a fantastic itinerary, with stops in Rabat (the capital), Fes, over the Middle Atlas to Erfoud in the Sahara Desert, Ouarzazate, over the High Atlas to Marrakech. This first post will cover Rabat and Fes, then a 2nd post will cover our journey in the Sahara, and a 3rd will finish the trip over the High Atlas and Marrakech. Lots of great photos on this trip!
The Royal residence of King Mohammed VI in Rabat.The Kasbah (fortress) of Oudaias in Rabat.Kasbah wall detail.The flowers shown are morning glory growing on limestone blocks in a Roman ruin.Stone with Latin inscriptions.The White stork is a common large bird in Morocco.
Tree datura imported from the New World to Africa.
Some of the marble statues in a Rabat museum from the Roman period.The King Mohammed V Mausoleum in Rabat.An old mosque at the mausoleum.The Bou Regreg River leaving Rabat.The countryside to the east on the way out of Rabat is reminiscent of central California with many fruit orchards and olive trees.Between Rabat and Festivities is the ancient Roman site called Volubilis. Note the stork nest on top of the column.Mosaic in an old home floor.Detail of the same mosaic.The medieval city of Fes, founded in the 8th Century. This view is from a nearby hilltop.The famous city wall that surrounds Fes.Entering the gate of the Fes Medina is to slip back in time.Moroccan vendor along one of the Medina streets.A man buying prickly pear fruits.Making filo dough.Bees swarm the couscous.Watermelons, another New World import.Buying spices in Fes, Morocco Copperware in the old Medina. An iron worker in Fes. Moroccan shoes. Some of the ladies on our trip bought these to wear. We stopped at a pre-school in a very small room to deliver crayons and pens from home.Donkeys are what deliver goods into the old Medina and the command to get out of the way when they come through with a big load is, "Balak, balak!" "Attention, attention." A small girl evokes the pleasant nature of the Moroccan people. The famous tannery in Fes.Close-up of the tannery. Fes was a very interesting stop but it was time to head off to the Sahara!