23rd June 2015 – Meknes, an authentic experience of Morocco

I spent the day in Meknes, and then drove further North to Chefchaouen.

I was initially in two minds if to head into another large city, but I researched and because it was described as: authentic, not touristic, often overlooked, and imperial. I decided to give it a go.

I found the cinema at least…….

I ended up heading straight for the Medina and got picked up by a guide. He asked if I was American (that’s the fourth person) and after a few words in very very limited Arabic and very broken French he got the message I was fine on my own.

I quickly found the famous Bab Mansour gate, the medina, and, after heading into the souks, got completely lost.  

I didn’t seem to get hassle from anyone.

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For this I liked the city almost straight away,  it definitely felt authentic,  and throughout the day there I only saw a few other tourists. I’m sure they were more, but compared to Marrakech, very different.

I found myself in the food markets and got to witness people choosing live food and how the meat prepared right in front of you by a man with a knife.  To me, very real, and I I found the same set up for rabbits and fish.

Choose your meat, it’s throat is slit, it bleeds, and then is skinned or plucked. At least you knew that it was fresh….

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I picked up a lot of fresh fruit, veg, mint, and some meat for a good price (even if I paid more than I should) and just went with what came along.

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On the flip side, I did see a live peacock being paraded through the souks for sale. It’s tail strapped up tight.  I wasn’t sure on how I felt on this, but had to remind myself this is Morocco, not the UK.

I had to smile at the guy who got his truck stuck and then just left it there as he went off to do whatever he had to do….it was still there an hour later 🙂

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Really liking these Bab’s (gates)

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I lasted about 5 hours in the city and after getting out of the heat, and making my first cup of mint tea from fresh leaves bought from the market, decided to drive north towards Chefchaouen,

The roads were OK, a little worn at times and almost like someone had laid the tarmac, but never got round to quite finishing them off.  If you want to cover distance quickly in Morocco, the west side of the country seems better developed.

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I eventually arrived at Chefchaouen just in time for the sunset and after getting lost in the town, find a campsite up in the mountains overlooking the town. All in all a pretty good day.

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