0185. Mountains! (Mor 034--new)
Beni Mellal Travel Blog› entry 14 of 74 › view all entries
Episode 06: Reaching the Mountains
After six weeks of exploring the dry, brown plains surrounding Casablanca, I'm eager to see mountains again. Mountains are definitely one of Morocco strong points--rugged, majestic and with fascinating little villages clinging to their slopes.
It’s a long 5 hours to get to Beni Mellil--probably the longest I'll want to go for a weekend trip--but quite worth it. Beni Mellal is right at the base of the beautiful Middle Atlas Mountains--and from the higher points of the city you can gaze out on a vast, irrigated valley of olive groves and fields. So you have great views just about anywhere you look.
Morocco is a color coded country. In different regions the cities have color "themes"--in the south folks paint their home an earthy red.
After exploring the old city a bit and finding myself a cheap room, I head down to explore the newer neighborhoods. A couple of kids ask me to play a song for them. I say that’s fine--as long as they pay me... Soon I have a pretty sizeable crowd. As I've learned before, different age groups don't mix very well in Morocco. Soon the older kids were throwing rocks to drive the younger kids away. Since my mobile concerts don't include a security detail--all I can do is duck.... still a fun experience (and no, they didn't pay me).
The market area is packed--and stays that way late into the night. Nice city, Beni Mellal. Don't think it'll crack the "top ten" anytime soon--but it's got a great location and unique feel... and lots of rowdy kids...