Thursday, December 17, 2009
Rabat to Fez
Last night Sandy prepared a fabulous seafood meal and we got to meet Olivier. We had seabass prepared with rosemary, lemon and pieces of garlic along with shrimp and calamari, and potatoes baked in the fireplace.
This morning we headed off to Fez, having planned to make side trip to Roman ruins at Volibulis along the way. As we got further from Rabat the countryside became more interesting with rolling hills dotted about with farms, and numerous small herds of sheep to be seen. At Meknes we turned north but got entangled in the town's outskirts and eventually gave up on Volibulis. However, late the same day we chatted with some people who had been there and were able to show us there pictures and tell us all about it. So, really, I think we can check that one off! Which gave me the idea that we might just hole up somewhere quiet for a day or two and just work on the blog. Because it is a lot of work, you know, especially late at night after a hard day of getting lost. And another thing, we need help getting more followers. Eleanor is hoping to get a book out of this trip or at least our own reality TV show.
We managed to somehow arrive at the correct location of our lodgings almost effortlessly and had time to wander about in the nearby souk. We have arranged to have a guide take us around tomorrow and are really looking forward to that. The only picture I have from today is of one of the tanneries. Not sure if this picture really captures this squalid looking setup with piles of rancid looking sheep skins and vats of vile liquid. It seems hard to believe that such beautiful end products start out in this fashion.
From the outside, our riad (large house now used as inn) is no more than an ornate wooden door set in an otherwise blank wall down an uninviting alley. But inside it is a charming and colourful 1001 nights fanatasy with rooms overlooking an open central area. After dinner in the souk (where we met the New Jersey mother and daughter who had been to Volubulis) we warmed up with some mint tea before climbing narrow stairs up four levels to our room which is actually on the building's roof. We have a little fire going; it's as peaceful as could be.