Some of the highlights were …
- Marrakesh This contemporary city reminded us of Miami Florida. If you are rich and famous, this is the desert city for you. The market is pretty cool too!
2. The medina in FEZ
Unlike the tourist market of Marrakech, the market in Fez is much harsher. Fez being the medina (market) of the Middle Ages founded in the year 789. Tourists need to follow a local guide through the maze medina of Fez otherwise you would be lost inside it for days. We almost bought a fresh camel’s head dripping with blood. (no sign of refrigeration)
Making a deal for some jewelry …
Our Moroccan adventure was called, “Inside Out”, and it took place in April of 2007. Notice what we were wearing. We moved through the country beginning at Casablanca, to Marrakech, then followed the road called, “La Route des Kasbahs along the Dades River. The towers and fortifications of these mythical Kasbah structures, have small windows allowing the residents to look out but no one could look in.
Near the town of Boumaine, we visited La Vallee des Oiseaux, where we saw larks, falcons, buzzards, and bustards.
The country changed dramatically. We left the desert sands and passed through the gorge of Ziz and finally arrived at the oldest imperial city of Fez.
The Roman Fortress city of Volubilis was an architectural wonder that I should mention as it stands in the shadows of the mountains.
On to the city of Rabat, where we stopped at the Chellah Garden. How beautiful and old!!!! it was.
You can’t travel to Morocco without returning with something that will remind you of your adventures in this far away land of contrasts. So I will tell you briefly about our Moroccan carpet.
I am not even certain where we were but it was between the desert sands of Ourrzazate and city medinas, and the ancient countryside monuments when we traveled into the mountains in search for a carpet. Our guide took us into a local mountain man’s house. Our group sat in an empty room on the floor and watched the carpets appear. They were each placed before us as the owner told the story of each carpet. They piled higher and higher until we had seen almost 50 of various sizes, designs, fabrics, and prices. We purchased a 6’x9′ goat carpet that told the Moroccan story in bright patchwork symbols and colours. We carred it home and put it on display in our living room in early May. It looked beautiful! One evening in June as our Canadian summer began, the smell of the “goat” carpet consumed our house. It was too much to bare!!! Today the carpet resides in the garage until winter, when it reappears in our living room.
The price was $1500 US.
The Ait Atta tribal people wove traditional camel, lamb, and goat hair carpets with some silk from the mountain worms. Using hand made dyes of saffron, henna, indigo, and kohl, they produced vibrant geometric rugs that ward off evil!
P.S. Whenever I hear a story like this, I buy on the spot!