part two!

June 24, 2011

Here is more from the daytrip we took last saturday:

This is where we ate lunch after the tour of the ruins, and the following picture is the view from our table:

We had an unexpected guest as well!

He and a friend of his were two of the most well-fed and healthy looking cats I have seen since I got here, but they still got some samples of our lunch which consisted of chicken, chicken liver, and red olives all cooked together in an oily sauce.

After lunch in Meknes we headed to the shrine for the king during the time of the Barbary pirates.  I cannot for the life of me remember the name, however.  There was more beautiful architecture, but the rest of my pictures didn’t really turn out.  bummer.



June 23, 2011

Hello again!

I thought I had uploaded and posted all these pictures last weekend after I got back from the trip I took them on, but I guess I forgot!  On saturday we took a bus to Volubilis, which is the ruins of what was once the southwest corner of the roman empire.  I swear to god i’ve posted this before.  Anyay:

This is the main drag through the center of town.  At one point this city was home to about 20,000 people.  The grey stripe is some of the remnants of the sewage/plumbing system for the city.

This is an example of the mosaic floors that are all over the ruins.  Aparently most of them have been restored.

Detail of another mosaic floor.  I think this is supposed to be herculese.

This is the inside of some rich-ass roman’s house. This is the pond in the central courtyard.

Same house.

This is me in front of the main arch into the city.  It’s huge!!

Another group shot!  I swear it’s the forced perspective that makes me look gigantic. The guy on my right is at least as large as me in real life.  Also my head is not as big as anybody’s torso.


OK! that’s it for now! I’ll try to post pictures from the rest of the trip tonight or tomorrow, but for now I’m getting thrown off the internet.

Fes Medina

June 17, 2011

This isn’t my video, I found it on youtube to show my girlfriend back home what it’s like here. It is pretty representative of what the Medina is like in Fes.  Absolutely insane in the best way possible.  Keep an eye out for the donkey cart at about 1:50.

To clarify, I’m not living in the Medina itself, but many of my classmates are.  I live in the new city, which is a lot like how I remember Beirut except more garbage and beggars.

There are cats everywhere in both sections.


I’ve edited this post to show off what traffic is like here too.  Are any of you the right age to have played frogger as a kid? That’s what crossing the street is like.  This video is of Marrakesh, but again its pretty much the same here.


June 17, 2011

Photo dump part two.

June 17, 2011

OK, i’m back at school and have a chance to upload more photos.  Sorry for the delay!

Adil and Jeff discuss the finer points of Arab grammar after class

This photo is of the classroom we are in every day from 8AM to noon.  It has the same type of mosaics and engraved plaster as the mosque I posted yesterday.

This is another shot of our classroom. Prior to being owned by ALIF it was a mosque.

This photo is of the courtyard in front of the school where we both eat lunch and hang out and do homework.

This is Beau sitting in the courtyard at the Alif Riad, an old Riad in the old city that ALIF purchased a few years back and converted to a sanctuary of sorts for students.  (The main campus is on the other side of town in the new city).  Gorgeous all around again.  They serve free tea/sugar water here as well.

For those of you not in the know, a Riad is a huge house/mansion with no windows o

photo dump

June 16, 2011

We went on our tour of the medina today, really amazing!


I mostly just got pictures of some of the archetecture we saw, and the tanneries.  It didn’t seem like a good idea to just snap photos of the locals.


The view from above the tanneries in Fes

The tanneries really were pretty strong smelling, but you would have thought they were way worse from the way my classmates were whining.  The tour guide told us that it was decided by whoever decides these things that working here is the third hardest jobs on the planet.  He added that the first was crab fishing in alaska, after which one of my classmates chimed in “No it isn’t, being a mother is!”


More images of the tanneries follow:



Next up, I’ve got a string of photos from from the Madrasa, an Islamic school set up by the Islamic University in Fes (which, apparently, is the oldest university in the world.)

The handsome one is in the middle.

Group Shot!

This shit was crazy. The courtyard of this school is HUGE, and the walls are covered with engraved plaster.  All that detail work was done by hand, and is about a half an inch deep.  The pictures really don’t do it any justice.

These mosaics were on the walls below the plaster, going from the gound to about shoulder height. They were also done on the wall, piece by piece.  I usually find people who gush over stuff like this distasteful, but this was simply one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

This one is a little farther back, to give a sense of scale.  When I said the mosaics started at shoulder height, maybe I meant head height.  That is our tour guide on the far left.


I’ve got to move locations, but there’s more to come later tonight or perhaps tomorrow afternoon.






June 15, 2011

Hey, sorry everybody! I know it’s been a while since I updated, but while I was still in seattle I didn’t have much interesting to write about. Since I’ve arrived this side of the Atlantic, I’ve been having what I refer to as ‘the great adapter crisis.’ For those of you who don’t know, English power outlets are different from American ones. And French outlets (which are what Moroccans use) are different from English and American ones. This translates to me being unable to charge any of my Yank electronics.

And now I only have internet until 6pm.

Anyway. Now I’ve got it. I’ll be able to upload pictures pretty soon, although I haven’t really taken that many. So here is a rapid fire list of anything worthwhile that has happened to me:

-About thirty minutes into my 9 hour flight the elderly gentleman sitting across the aisle from me had what appeared to be a heart attack. Fortunately(?) there was a doctor on board who used the limited equipment in the plane’s emergency kit to keep him alive for like 8 hours until we landed in London.

-London was a little dull, but my hostel was above a pub in Tulse Hill, which is just south of Brixton, which is pretty far out of the city. Finding it from Heathrow was pretty interesting. London transportation is pretty good if you know where you are going though. I spent most of my time in the UK drinking expensive pints and eating plates of full english. Also, should it ever come up, take my advice and don’t fly RyanAir.

-Fes is pretty fucking cool. Despite my usual susceptibility to the laws of travel disaster, my bags made it and I had a hotel room waiting for me when I got here.

-I’ve been eaten alive by mosquitos.

-There are lots of stray cats here, which is cool both because I like cats and they are less dangerous than stray dogs.

-My host family is great. The father is really animated and they are all very generous and excited to be with us. (when I say us, I refer to myself and the other student staying with me.)

-Food is fantastic. Not what I expected entirely, there is a little less meat, and it is much simpler than I expected. I of course don’t mean that in a negative way, simply an observation. Also, Moroccans tend to eat lunch at a little after noon, and dinner at like 10:30 pm. I’m getting used to it, but the first few days were a little rough.

Pictures are probably coming soon, so stay in touch!