It sure seemed like it today, anyway, though I’m sure the high temperature was probably only a tad over 70. So, I thought I’d get out and let the bicycle take me for a ride, and I was sweating quite a bit and may have gotten a small sunburn. Love it! I wasn’t sure where my trusty transport would take me, but we ended up riding around the medina, across the wadi from my side of town. This is the first occasion that I’ve spent any amount of time there, and I ended up in places I haven’t been before.
What’s behind the door?
Sunday is great for riding around, as the traffic is usually very light, compared to weekdays. Many of the pedestrians are tourists, mostly French from the conversations I overheard. I think sightseeing in the medina is more properly done by walking. There are a lot of things to see, and stopping every 5 minutes on the bike to take a photo gets old. It’s not that far from my apartment, though a complete walk around the old city would take a while. I want to get some souvenir shopping done before I leave for Thailand and Laos, so I’m sure I’ll make that walk soon.
Now, I’ve been in the upper reaches of the atmosphere while backpacking in the mountains of Montana, where the sky can be as blue as imaginable, but I have to admit the skies here can be as deeply azure as those in Big Sky Country. The color lends a good contrast to the beige of the old walls found in the medina. Below is one of the old gates (“bab” in Arabic) leading into or out of the medina. I didn’t have my guide book with me, so I don’t know its name, but there are many more, some of which are very impressive; I’ll get photos of them eventually.
One of the favorite resting spots in Meknes is a small, man-made lake. It’s lined with benches and quite a few people (I’m told) pass the time here, though it was very quiet today. Joggers, mothers with baby strollers and older children in tow, and couples talking in the shade populate this quiet area. Ducks and golden fish inhabit the lake. At one end is this crenellated wall, part of the old fortifications built by Moulay Ismail dating back to the 17th century.
All in all, it was an enjoyable couple of hours under the Moroccan sun. Montanans, with your low temperatures dipping into the teens today, are you envious? 😎 More later.