August 14 – Today we took a train from Rabat to Meknes. From Meknes we arranged a Taxi to Moulay Idriss where we met Julia’s friend, Kristin and her Moroccan friend for lunch. In 789 Moulay Idriss I arrived at that place, founded the town and brought the Islam. The Mausoleum of Idriss I is also located here.
The town of Moulay Idriss (© Mervin Smucker)
Together we visited the grand Roman Ruins Volubilis nearby. In the 3rd century BC Volubilis as a Berber settlement and flourished with the Romans in the 1st century AD but given up in the 3rd century AD. Volubilis had some well preserved mosaics and the triumphal arch of Caracalla.
The Arch of Caracalla (© Mervin Smucker)
Later we met and danced with the „Street Musicians“, who we had met earlier in our taxi from Meknes to Moulay Idris. We spent the night in Moulay Idriss.
August 13 – We spent the day in Rabat. We walked a long distance along the main highway and river to the ancient Roman ruins on the edge of the city of Rabat. The ruins were impressive – the Chellah ist medieval Muslim necropolis.
The Phoenicians established there a trading emporium, after that the site became an ancient Roman colony. In the 13th century the Marinids built a chellah, a sacred necropolis, with mosque, minaret and royal tombs. The minaret survived, you can see it today.
We walked 17 km today. From the terrace at our Hotel in Rabat we had some spectatular views of the ocean and the water front to the West, and the Medina and the riverwalk to the North and the East.
Roman remains of Chellah (© Mervin Smucker)
13th century minaret (© Mervin Smucker)
This is my trip to Morocco. We had a wonderful time there. I tell you – go and visit this amazing country. The Moroccan landscape ist unique and people are very nice. I went there several times, this is my trip in August 2017.
On the the first day of my journey (August 11) I met my son Jonathan in Chicago at O’Hare at noon. We flew together to JFK Airport in New York. After a ca. 6 hour wait at JFK we flew directly to Casablanca. We spent the night on the plane. I must say, I slept very little.
Next day (August 12) we landed in Casablanca. We met my daughter Julia at the airport, changed money and took some pictures. Then went by train to Rabat. We strolled through the Medina, visited the incomplete mosque and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V , and walked along the polluted beach by the Atlantic Ocean. At the end we walked a total of 11 km that day.
Hassan Tower and the remains of the mosque in Rabat, Morocco (© Mervin Smucker)
This building, Hassan Tower, was supposed to be the minaret of one of the tallest mosques in the world. The mosque was never finished, however, and an earthquake destroyed most of what had been constructed. Only the tower and pillars survived and serve today as an important historical landmark in Rabat.
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V (© Mervin Smucker)