Some day I will wake up and be able to think my blog entries instantaneously to you. Things that I see from the road can also be snapped and cropped in perfect resolution just by blinking my eyes…but until technology can catch up with the speed of thought, I have to apologize for the days on the road when I go MIA.
But I’m back and today we are in Meknes–some mere 60km outside of Fes and half an hour south of Volubilis–
a former capital city of Morocco (until the capital moved to Marrakech) founded by a Berber tribe. The vibe is totally different here than in Fes, more outwardly facing. But that’s just a superficial impression on my part.
One of the key sights in Meknes is the Bab Mansour, an enormous Almohad gate
flanked by marble columns taken from Volubilis:
Just across from the gate is a huge open square
with entries into other parts of town
You could also grab a sandwich or drink at one of the many restaurants’ outdoor tables and people watch.
So after a quick lunch and mint tea, it’s time to visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, the sultan of Meknes who ruled the capital during its golden age. The gate, Bab el-Khemis, that leads to the mausoleum is lovely:
Beyond these doors to the mausoleum,
is a fountain
followed by series of arched entries into other rooms
until you arrive at the inner sanctum:
where some of the finest zellij mosaics can be found.
It is deathly calm in here, and I can imagine what a refuge it must be on a scorching summer day. Just across the street from this oasis is an underground prison:
where another kind of deathly calm might also be found. But I have no idea as I opt out of visiting it. I’d rather stay here just a bit longer and enjoy my private sanctuary…see you back in Fes tomorrow.