Credits: Digital sketch by Jen Caputo (http://jencaputo.typepad.com); Papers from Scrapmatters’ Life’s Little Surprises kit — Happy Scrappy Girl, Graham like the Cracker, Haynay Designs
Seated comfortably in the van, enjoying the company of family and newfound friends,
we marveled at the beauty along the way,
even stopping to buy some oranges and dried figs from a roadside vendor.
An hour away from Fes is a picturesque whitewashed town scenically perched in the foothills of the Rif Mountain.
Moulay Idriss is the first of several destinations planned for the day. Considered the holiest town in Morocco, we paid a visit to the final resting place of the town’s namesake, Morocco’s religious and secular founder and the great-grandson of the prophet Mohamed.
His shrine is actually off-limits to non-Muslims, but we were able to go as far as the first courtyard.
Until 2005, non-Muslims were not permitted to spend the night in town and tourists were advised to be out of town by 3pm. Today, I noticed a few lodgings while walking around.
The town is considered to be the holiest in Morocco. They say that, for Moroccans who can’t afford the trip to Mecca, five pilgrimages to Moulay Idriss is equal to one to Mecca.
Pretty and peaceful with beautiful views across the foothills,
the village has a charming little souk with stalls selling everything from fruits to live hens.
And while we were not allowed inside the mosque and shrine, we had fun walking around the main square. It is a great place to people watch while sipping mint tea
or enjoy a terrific lunch of grilled meats before or after a visit to Volubilis.
Aside from the fact that our driver barely spoke English, Ibrahim confessed to never having explored the town of Moulay Idriss and the nearby city of Volubilis making it the perfect reason to come along.
But I think he just really likes us.