Trip Start Apr 02, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Tuesday, April 4, 2006

There was slight bafflement amongst our group as we found ourselves on a tour of Meknes' premier attractions: stud farm and granary.

The stud farm was a nice break to the cities and towns we've seen, and the plight of the pitiful Moroccan donkey pulled a few heart strongs and gave Claire a chance to add to her 'random photo collection' It was easy to distinguish between the highly strung Arab horse and the gloriously steady and strong Berber horses. One tethered at the gate was absolkutely enormous and its hind quarters nearly taller than me.

Omar directed us to a huge empty structure, slightly damp and in no way decorative. Apparently a granary with an out of use olive press (no slaves here to run it anymore).

Another lesson for me: everyone looking bored and bewildered as we wander the grounds outside so time to lift spirits. Kate announces that she's sure U2 shot a part of a video clip here -- suddenly everyone perks up.

Well, surely this has to be interesting place after all!

I make a mental note: not only to always be enthusiastic myself (the granary was pushing it!) but research about video clip locations in all future destinations.

But the U2 connection didn't raise worn-out spirits for long. Free time in the local souq, marketplace, provides a half-hour of entertainment. Chameleons, spice merchants selling sandalwood and incences, and the interesting discovery of the Live Produce section.

From one table, purchase your chicken, the next get it chopped and bagged, then buy some gooey and teeth-achingly sweet delicacies from the next stall.
Our stop at the local supermarket to purchase picnic stuff for tomorrow hardly has the same atmosphere, though there is shopping basket envy amongst the group.

A long and occasionally bewildering day finishes with an adventure through Meknes' backstreets to a riad, a Moroccan house where all rooms face onto a courtyard.

This is definitely one of Meknes' star attractions ... even without the U2 connection.
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