0188 The Great Wall of Taza (Mor 037—new)

Taza Travel Blog

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Episode 07: All the Way to the Algerian Border

 I've got about 10 days free to wander... so I'm heading off to a section of Morocco I've never touched before:  the Taza-Oujda-Nador Triangle.  I calculate that 10 days should be enough to thoroughly experience and parkbench this region--if I keep a quick pace...

I want to take a late night bus, so I won't get to Taza too early in the morning--so I actually start my adventure by exploring a new neighborhood in Casablanca... "Derb Sultan" is a huge, sprawling neighborhood/market.  Block after block of stalls, tables, vegetable stands occupying 90% of the street--leaving only narrow squeeze spaces for people to get through.

  Very interesting to visit...but damn!  it'd really suck to LIVE in this neighborhood!  I mean, what happens when a woman goes into labor?  This neighborhood has a very much "old medina" feel, even though it's miles from the real old medina...

I still have a lot more to discover in Casablanca...

Anyways,  six o'clock in the morning, still dark, I arrive in Taza.  I soon find the scrap market slowly coming to life... one section of the market looks very much alive--I go over and discover it's the sheep/goat/cow market, with local herdsmen pulling, driving their livestock for sale.

On the horizon, silohuettes stark rugged mountains start to appear--dry, rocky hills to the north and slightly greener mountains to the south.

Heading back into town, I find a quiet little park that I can claim.

.. soon I have company--including one very scruffy old fellow who tells me of his life working in Europe, getting married, having seven kids, becoming an alcoholic, wife leaving him... currently living like a bum... Seems like he's more of an exception... most of the Moroccan men who work in Europe seem to end up doing quite well...

I continue along through a relatively modern neighborhood--and then I see this wall climbing up the steep hillside with a gate beckoning at the top... I have just discovered the Great Wall of Taza...

Sure enough, at the top, there's a whole 'nother city, a charming little old medina with a covered market section.   This must have been a great citidel of sorts back in the old days...

Afterwards I head out through the fields and across a shady ravine to another interesting looking neighborhood with steep alleyways climbing the hillside... and the back into town...

...A lot of variety here in little Taza... Yet I'm already itching to add another town to my collection, so I start asking around for transportation to the nearby villages on my map... Aknoul?  Taineste? Tahar Souk? No luck.  Finally I just hop on a random van--wherever it's going, that's where I'm going...

 

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Taza
photo by: viajeroh