After arriving in Rabat and staying in a hotel for two nights, our group took off for Meknes, one of Morocco's imperial cities. We were placed into host families, given classes every morning in Darija (the Moroccan dialect of Arabic), and taken on tours of historical sites and cultural activities and lectures. In our free time every afternoon, we would explore the city and wind up at cafés, drinking tea and avocado juice.
Let's walk starting from my host family's appartment in the downtown Hamria neighborhood.
Walk to the older parts of the city, along the ancient walls.
Soon enough we reach the bab, the gate to the old city.
In front of the gate is a wide open space, traversed by tourists and traffic, before you get to the souk leading into the old medina.
The walls of this open space are covered in intricate mosaics.
Before even entering the walls, the souk spills out into piles of pottery and tajines for sale.
Entering into the crowded passages of the souk, shopkeepers sell vegetables and spices, meats, and pastries.
Everywhere you turn your head, your eye is overwhelmed with visual stimulation.
The narrow passages of the crowded market wind out into the streets of a residential neighborhood in the old medina. A group of boys stop their ball game to pose for souaira, a photo.
One little boy, Brahim, has his favorite pose down pat. He motions to follow him.
He walks confidently through the maze of the Medina.
Brahim knows these complicated streets by heart, and shows me through the the most scenic route.
Finally the narrow streets let out into a parking lot, overlooked by a sandstone gate. This is the first glimpse of sky I've seen since we left the open space before the market.
Through the gate, across a busy highway, is a large valley, with half the city on the hill on the other side.
Walk along the hills to watch the sun set over Meknes, the skyline marked by minarets.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>My name is Sarah, and I'm from New England but I study psychology (and math, and religion, and everything else) at Vassar College in the Hudson Valley. When I'm not doing schoolwork, you can find me singing in a choir, at ballet class, or binge watching TV shows with my friends.</p>