Saturday, June 5, 2010

Volubilis Verve and Mellow Meknes

I've met so many awesome people in the past two weeks. As much as I'm going to miss Morocco for all its madness, I think the one thing I'll miss the most while I'm sitting alone in my Andalusian apartment is talking to all the different people who make their way through this maze of a nation. They're especially great for three things:
a) splitting cab fares
b) going out for a drink
c) adventures.
Most memorable adventure so far: hiking down the hill overlooking Fes in flip-flops, led by two friends I had met in Marrakech. One of them was Australian. I should've known he'd get me into trouble. It must have been a funny sight for the two Fassis who spotted us from the road on
the verge of toppling down a precipice: two Taiwanese girls, a pro-outdoorsy Aussie, a pretty Brit and one very skeptical subcontinental guy taking the really long way back to the medina. One of the nice local men had to pull me across a ledge over onto a rock before I could make the descent (please don't tell my parents). It was an experience, to say the least. We headed straight for the bar once we had planted our feet on level ground -- fun times.

Yesterday, my newly found Malaysian friend and I made the trek to the ancient ruins of
Volubilis, followed by a stop at the pilgrimage site of Moulay Idriss and the quiet town of Meknes, Fez's littler sister. What a trip! 45 minutes on a train and a total of 2 and a half hours in car + three different sites + midday heat = one pooped little Indian man in Morocco.
But the splendor of Volubilis (Oualili in Arabic) and the cuteness of Moulay Idriss made up for it.

I'm spending the last two days in Fes wandering the medina and keeping fastidious notes. One thought: bargaining in the markets here is really testing the limits of my sass -- but really, there's been plenty to go around. 60 dirhams for those shoes? Puh-lease, monsieur, a blind feral cat with arthritis could sew up those stitches better.

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