Monday, 9 February 2015

Meknes: Our First Riad

We made it to Meknes!
We also made it from the train station to the medina of the old town, and magically ran into the owner of the riad where we were planning on staying for a few nights within minutes of being dropped off by the petit taxi.
Perfect.

We aren't in Kansas anymore!


Most cities and towns were surrounded by adobe walls such as these; generally, the older parts of the cities had these walls, as the newer sections were made of more modern-looking buildings. Things are changing fast in Morocco, as tourism is becoming more and more important for commerce, and the king is encouraging a lot of new construction, infrastructure, and training for as many Moroccans as possible to take advantage of this sector of the local economy. Tourism notwithstanding, changes in family structure are also occurring, and it seems as if there is a movement away from the traditional adobe used for construction (towards brick and concrete, which is changing the physical face of Moroccan architecture), as well as a move towards single-family dwellings (away from large families living in one dwelling that continually evolves and grows as families expand and contract over time).


Entrance to the medina in Meknes (one of several gates).


The bathroom mirror in our princess suite...


....princess beds...


...Beautiful windows looking onto the terrace...


... annnnd lunch on the roof-top terrace!


A minaret, very close by to our room... the daily call for prayer-- five times per day-- is emitted from these towers, and they coincide with the rising and setting of the sun. Because there are several towers in any town or city, they seem to answer one another, the calls travelling over the expanse of rooftops, seeming to echo into the distance. Generally, in January, the first wake-up call can be heard at about 5:45am. After the second morning, as much as I enjoyed this event, somehow I managed to tune it out. Thankfully Tina was on quality control, not to mention vigilant, so I got an update later on to let me know that no-one had given up on the prayers overnight.


Roof-top detail...

.... green glaze from a specific region in Morocco...


... one of many beautiful doors...


... and although it was January, there were still enough plants around to give us an idea of what springtime could be like for foliage and blooms everywhere. Lovely!


In the old parts of town, there was so much detail and quality of craftsmanship everywhere...


...narrow alleyways, nooks and crannies, seemingly endless twists and turns...


...during mid-day, everything was pretty quiet-- doors to shops were opened again in the evening, and the hustle and bustle of daily life continued.

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