My Inspiration

I find that the really good part of being "trapped" in Planet Earth, and the one that makes me want to jump!, is that we get the chance to explore the many wonders and awe striking phenomena of nature -which can sometimes really bring tears to my eyes and move me in very special transcendental ways- plus, we have the benefit of having at our disposal an immense array of human production, from architecture to gastronomy, from design to literature, every aesthetic manifestation of our great creative potential; art in its different forms can occasionally have that divine little thing that makes me feel flabbergasted, touched or even changed. I hope to share some of the "God on Earth" practical experiences that I've collected during my travels through this humble blog.

6 abr. 2011

Meknès & Volubilis, Morocco

Meknès is a city located north of Morocco in the junction point that binds the east with the north and south of the country. It is a city that remains much more Moroccan in ambiance than Rabat or Casablanca, which have turned into cosmopolitan cities. Meknès has as its highlight the ethereal beauty and exquisite interior design of Moroccan traditional architecture and Muslim costums, harmoniously brought together in the quiet building that houses Moulay Ismail's Mausoleum. This is such a unique place to visit that it even made the cover of Lonely Planet's guide to Morocco in the edition I travelled with (6th). Meknès has a relaxed city-like atmosphere that allows you to wander the streets freely and almost feel as an anonymous passer-by again -which is a difficult thing to attain in a Muslim developing country where tourists are regarded as a gold mine. It is a good place to accommodate in your schedule between places that are frantic in comparison (i.e. Marrakesh, Tetouan). As almost every Moroccan city, Meknès is divided into its old part or Medina, with its corresponding exotic souqs (markets), and the new part of town called Ville Nouvelle. The latter has one of Morocco's best museums "Dar Jamaï Museum". As usual in this detail oriented culture, the museum's building in itself is quite alluring but it also has interesting exhibits of jewelry, ceramics, rugs, textiles and wood artistry. In addition, the Ville Nouvelle has a big Mosque, which is closed to non-Muslims but fortunately supplemented with a theological college or medersa called Medersa Bou Inania, which does have access to the general public and exemplifies the elegant tile & wood work of Moroccan artists. To top it all up, Meknès has nice french influenced cafés to spend the afternoons in and delicious Moroccan eateries where you can explore the middle-eastern flavors of their rich gastronomy.

You shouldn't leave Meknès without visiting the Roman Ancient Ruins of Volubilis where some beautiful remains have been miraculously preserved. Here is where the unbeknown and undeservedly fame less Roman big coloured mosaics of Volubilis lay. The site is located in the midst of what appears to be very fertile isolated ground. The natural scenery is clean and green, besides exploring the archaeological treasure, you'll enjoy breathing the fresh air that comes from the mountains.

Here is my fifth article of the Moroccan series related to the imperial cit of Meknès and its neighbouring Archaeological Site Volubilis: