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MOROCCO


Location - North Africa; Capital - Rabat; Population - 32 million; Currency - Morocco Dirham MORE MOROCCO

The most convenient place to fly to get the Spanish enclave of Melilla was Fez. Not a bad destination in itself, so I revisited the city I first saw god knows how many years previously - October 2011. I then returned to the Moroccan coast in November 2013 to track down the Spanish military fortresses that passed me by a couple of years earlier

 

mornoteThe Moroccan Dirham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor406407

Before diving into the medina, I went to Borj Sud, a fort situated above the city. It's the perfect place to take in the medinas of Fez el-Jdid (left) and Fez el-Bali (right) - Fez

 

mor404A close up of Fez el-Bali, the old town where tourists spend most of their time - Fez

 

 

 

mor409Borj Sud (South Fort) is a short taxi ride from the old town - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor412A gate marks one of the entrances to Fez el-Jdid, the newer of the old cities - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor410Walking through a quiet Mellah, the former Jewish quarter within Fez el-Jdid - Fez

 

mor411Balconies of some of the old Jewish houses in the Mellah - Fez

 

mor413An old waterwheel, or noria, in Fez el-Jdid - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor417Bab Boujeloud is the busiest of Fes el-Bali's entrance gates - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor693Hotels around Bab Boujeloud have rooftop terraces with fantastic views of the gate and the rest of the old city - Fez

 

mor702Sunset from Bab Boujeloud - Fez

 

 

mor709There's several teahouses and restaurants just inside Bab Boujeloud - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor419Near Bab Boujeloud, the Batha Museum (Dar Batha) is housed in a 19th century palace - Fez

 

mor424Batha Museum's Andalucian-style garden - Fez

 

 

mor425A Dar Batha courtyard - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor428One of the huge number of souqs (markets) in Fez el-Bali - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor432The entrance to Bou Inania Medersa (madrasa), a 14th century Islamic college and mosque - Fez

 

 

mor434The courtyard of Bou Inania Medersa - Fez

 

 

mor435The medersa was built by Merenid sultan Bou Inan - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor437Arabic writing on the walls of Bou Inania Medersa - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor438Some of the medersa carvings are extremely intricate - Fez

 

mor439Even pigeons are admiring the handiwork - Fez

 

 

mor429Opposite the medersa is the ancient water clock, originally consisting of brass bowls with 13 windows and platforms - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor431The protrusions form part of the ancient water clock but other brass sections have yet to be renovated.
It's unclear how the clock functioned so maybe it'll never be fully restored - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor440The markets, or souqs, include brass-making, carpentry, henna, gold, jewellery, pottery and leather, to name but a few - Fez

 

mor441I visited on a Friday so the souqs were pretty quiet. If you want hustle and bustle try mid-week - Fez

 

 

mor443Fez al-Bali is a myriad alleyways where you're bound to get lost without a guide - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor446Fez loves fountains of all shapes and sizes. This one is on Place an-Nejjarine next to the funduq of the same name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor447This funduq - a caravanserai where merchants slept and traded goods while passing through - is now the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts - Fez

 

mor449Go to the funduq's rooftop lookout for a cold drink - Fez

 

 

mor451I'm told this is just a roof but it looks pretty quirky to me - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor452The Zaouia Moulay Idriss II contains the tomb of Moulay Idriss II, the city's patron saint and ruler of Morocco in the 9th century - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor457The courtyard and walls of the 14th century Medersa el-Attarine, another ancient college - Fez

 

mor460Friday prayers at Kairaouine Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in the world - Fez

 

mor461Some of the streets in the old town are very narrow and can be a bit of a traffic jam - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor462The famous Chaouwara Tanneries of Fez el-Bali - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor466The leather is treated with pigeon droppings - Fez

 

 

mor463Vats of vegetables dyes are used to colour the leather - turmeric for yellow; poppy for red; indigo for blue; mint for green etc. However the modern way means chemicals are often used instead - Fez

 

 

mor470Drying out dyed skins - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor471Place as-Seffarine is the Brass-makers' Square, though most of it was closed on a Friday - Fez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor474A world away from the old cities is the Ville Nouvelle, or New Town - Fez

 

mor477The New Town is a great place for a coffee or mint tea at an Avenue Hassan II roadside café - Fez

 

mor629The countryside and hills surrounding Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor482The very tall minaret of the Grand Mosque at Nador, a few kms fom the border with Melilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor481The Town Hall at Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor483It's a nice enough place to while away a few hours before or after a trip to Melilla - Nador

 

 

mor485Head for the café on the waters of Mar Chica, a lagoon just a short walk from the town centre - Nador

 

 

mor486Enjoying a refreshing mint tea on the Mar Chica - Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor488Boats are available for short cruises along the shore - Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor491The Sidi Ali Mausoleum is close to the lagoon - Nador

 

 

mor494Sidi Ali Mausoleum - Nador

 

 

mor495The mausoleum and café are linked by a corniche - Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor480Taking time out on the corniche - Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor636An hour's drive east of Nador is the coastal resort of Ras el-Ma

 

mor632Street vendors outside the Grand Mosque - Ras el-Ma

 

 

mor635The wide beach at Ras el-Ma, also known as Ras Kebdana, as well as Cap de l'Eau in French and Cabo de Agua in Spanish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor645Fishermen repair their nets - Ras el-Ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor638Looking along the coast to the Algerian mountains, from the rocky headland at Ras el-Ma

 

mor646A seawall protects Ras el-Ma from the Mediterranean

 

 

mor648My reason for coming here was to see the Chafarinas Islands, a slice of Spain in Africa - Ras el-Ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor652From the headland the three islands that constitute the Spanish military islands known as the Islas Chafarinas are in full view.
On the left is the largest island, Isla del Congreso, followed by Isla de Isabel II, with Isla del Rey on the right - Ras el-Ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor642The headland facing the islands is a Moroccan military zone, supposedly off-limits to visitors - Ras el-Ma

 

penon13Isla del Congreso is a rugged island with no permanent population - Islas Chafarinas

 

penon15bIsla de Isabel II is the only populated island with a 190-man military garrison supporting a lighthouse, watchtower, Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Neolithic site of Zafrin - Islas Chafarinas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mor654Public transport is sporadic to and from Ras el-Ma. Luckily a kind local couple gave me a lift back to Nador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2016 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.tourism-in-morocco.com

www.muchmorocco.com - Morocco tourist board

www.oncf.ma - Moroccan train timetables, fares, info etc

www.ctm.ma - download timetable under Telechargement - 'Horaires & Tarifs CTM'

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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