A bit more sedate,and a chance to chill
Meknes Travel Blog› entry 9 of 15 › view all entries
An interesting start to the day. Went up to Casa Voyageurs station to wait on train coming in from Marrakech, and it was running 45 minutes late. There were loads of soldiers waiting at one end of the platform,and as the train pulled in the front half of train was clear for soldiers to board. There was a mass scrum to get on the rest and a fight broke out spilling back onto the platform.
A wee porter from ONCF rail company was pulling folk with kids backfrom the melee and we got from him that there would be another train put on. Still the rest continued to cram onboard,while we waited and got an empty express train 10 minutes later heading for Meknes.
Bit of a trek from Meknes Gare De Ville down to hotel, it wasn't the station in the map that I had for the hotel. Only occasion on this trip that there was an ermmm.... '' heated exchange'' :-D
Got to the hotel, the Ibis, and I still don't think it was that bad a walk, I'm sticking to that ;-) . Everybody having calmed down, we went for a swim at the hotel for a bit to cool down, and a chance to chill before heading into town,which wasn't very far. Plans were having to be changed and we would have to do Volibulis the next day. We would just spend the rest of the day exploring Meknes
An uphill walk into the old medina and we reached the main square and the gate,Bab Mansour.
A few entertainers about, and folk offering horse rides round the square. Walked down the steps and into the souk and it was a lot more like Marrakech than Casablanca , and to me seemed quite European in some ways. Didn't seem to be many tourists about, well none that stuck out as much as we did. Seemed a very easy going place, and here the traders were shouting to entice custom, but in a friendly banter sort of way.
Spent ages walking round finding all the various sections of the souk, even ending up in the DIY section with folk buying lengths of wood or beds that were made up.
Getting dark and we went down into the square again and it was a bit more like Marrakech, with the drums and the snakes, but nowhere near the level of intensity. Nice to watch though and we went to one of the cafes that are set out along one side of the square. Here the waiters competed o get people in, and kept taking tables from the back and putting them to the front to get more people in. They were laughing with each other as people chose to go to theirs rather than the one next door.
Went back down and into the souk again, which being later was now a lot busier, but in no way intimidating. We had hoped to come across a tourist agency or travel agent to see about trips to Volibulis, but never found one. Having come out of the souk at the bakery section, we wandered back down the road towards the new town and our hotel. Managed to sink a few beers before calling it a night.
Up early next morning and asked about how to et to Volibulis. Turned out not to be that expensive to do it by taxi. Very impressive site.