Friday, December 23, 2011

A sleepy little town. Moulay Idriss.

Moulay Idriss is named after Idriss I who was the first ruler of the Idrissid Dynasty and is for all intents and purposes, considered to be the founder of Morocco. So, you would think that the town named after him would be anything but the assuming, sleepy place that it is.

From Volubilis, we piled back into Kamal’s Mercedes and made our way to Moulay Idriss. As agreed upon, Kamal took us along the scenic route which would its way from one mountainside to the next. More views of the town. Kamal did point out the town’s Bab.


Soon shot the panoramic video.  You could hear the noontime adhan being called out.


We entered Moulay Idriss passing through a short street flanked on both sides by restaurants and souvenir shops.


Kamal drove slowly and although the smell of meat being grilled on open flames was intoxicating, I told Kamal we would be eating lunch in Meknes. With that, he picked up a bit of speed and deposited us at the parking lot just outside the medina.

Kamal pointed out the entrance to the mosque and since non-Muslims are not allowed, it’s pointless for us to go but we headed towards the entrance anyways.  

"There is nothing to see there " Just as we crossed the threshold, we were immediately accosted by young men telling us, no matter which direction we wanted to go in, that there was nothing to see and to follow them.


Of course, that just makes me want to stay on the course I’m headed on and completely ignore them With no idea of where to go and what to see, we just picked a direction and started walking.  First, we took as much a look as we could at the mosque.

Mind you, I had printed out the Wikitravel page on Moulay Idriss but had completely forgotten to bring along. Sheesh…., getting forgetful in my *old* age :-)

"No, there really isn't anything to see " We started walking up one path with one of the guys walking a few feet ahead of us. He telling us to go up to a terrace so we could have a panoramic view. None of us were in the mood to take him up on his offer so we just ignored him.

There was nothing interesting to see.  Not one thing caught my attention except for a cute little donkey hauling wood.  I got desperate.  Even took a shot of pile of Moroccan bread that was cooling outside the bakery.


Yep, it was boring so at one point, we gave up walking in this direction and turned around, leaving him pretty much standing in his tracks.

Back down to where we started, we were again accosted by young men offering to take us around. Ignoring them, we went in the opposite direction to our first walk. Part way up the hill, Aaron surmised that no matter which of the two routes we would take uphill, we would eventually end up in the same spot. Since none of us were interested in any more views, having had enough of them courtesy of Kamal, we turned around.

On our way back to the parking lot, we bumped into Kamal. He was just coming out of the mosque. We all hoped that he had been able to do some prayer. It never even dawned on me to ask him if he needed to pray. I think we would have gladly agreed to stop along the road for him to do so.

















Now, we were back at the parking lot. Where to go next? To the left? To the right. We voted left and soon found ourselves walking out of the town. Nothing there so we double backed to the parking lot and headed in the opposite direction which led us down the same street that Kamal drove in on. To the sights and sounds of food vendors trying to lure us to eat in their shops, we only had to walk a short distance to realize there was nothing to see in that direction either.

"We give up " We decided to cut our visit to Moulay Idriss short. No point wasting any more time here. We met back up with Kamal and I told him we were finished with Moulay Idriss and that we wanted to go to Meknes. He looked a bit surprised but I’m sure he was happy to earn the same amount of money for less time spent so he didn’t push back.

Bye bye Moulay Idriss.  Maybe next time, I'll remember to bring my guidebook.

Next destination. Meknes.