Before we left Fes we stopped by a large supermarket (very Costco like) to stock up on picnic foods for later in the day. The most significant difference to our supermarkets is the sheer quantity of bulk foods, especially spices. The colourful tubs are interesting enough but the smells are truly of the ‘died and gone to heaven’ kind.
Azrou, our first destination of the day, is a small market town in the Middle Atlas Mountains that has grown around a very large granite rock (azrou) in the middle of the city, which is characterised by the green tiled roofs of the arcades around the market square.
We visited there today in order to explore some of their local artisan’s workshops and we weren’t disappointed at all.
This very accommodating man demonstrated how he splits bamboo to weave panels within the cedar framework of this shelving unit. Sadly, the carpet weavers refused to allow us to photograph them at work.
Ifrane, our second destination of the day, is a mountain resort that is quite European, even Canadian, like in character. It is apparently the cleanest town in Africa we were told, which is quite a significant honour . We are accustomed to efficient rubbish management at home – so some of the rubbish issues that we’e witnessed here have been quite confronting.
This stone carved lion sits proudly in a city park location, a reminder of the lions that once thrived in the district. Across from the lion we enjoyed our picnic lunch, watching a heavy mist rolling to remind us that we were in mountain territory.
It was here that I was finally able to snap (albeit not very well!) a photo of one of the 6 million sheep who will be slaughtered on Friday as part of Morocco’s Sheep Feast. We have seen sheep being taken home in every conceivable form of transport this week. On country roads owners of small flocks of sheep sit patiently waiting for passers by to purchase their sheep. In cities sheep markets have popped up EVERYWHERE.
We were all absolutely delighted at the sight of two giant teapots guarding the entrance to this conference centre.
We returned ‘home’ early enough to allow us some free time and I just might have to confess that two pairs of shoes may have leapt into my suitcase. Women’s shoes here are beautiful and REALLY, REALLY cheap!
Til next time…