The BIG SQUARE as they refer to it in Meknes is the place where all the action is. And today being the day after (or the day after that?) Ramadan is facially over means it is party and celebrations everywhere.
Explorason has a rod placed in his hand and joins in a game.
Little kids drive remote control cars around as parents and friends steer them. They scream and cry and don’t want to get out at the end.
Every night these ladies sit here in a row. We pass them on 3 nights.
This is the tea seller – or it might be café – not sure, but I love his clothes and hat.
Kids also delight in feeding monkeys. Now I am not a fan of this. These monkeys are kept in cages and we were chased and made to pay for this photo. I’m not a fan.
As you can see, the Big Square is full. There are people having their photos taken in traditional costumes, and a stage is set.
In the Medina, you can find men playing cards. Good on Explorason for his sneaky photography on this shot!
Souks are selling their wares, as ladies shuffle down the lane ways.
Across from the Big Square are two massive gates.
I see a garden behind and this is heading toward the palace, but I am not sure what is there.
We wander around to the Mausoleum and I love the mosaic work that is everywhere.
There are staff to show you where you leave your shoes and you can tip (we didn’t as I only like to give to the poor), and we go in and enjoy the coolness on our hot feet.
It is grand and I feel for the poor of the town. I always see grand churches, mosques and palaces, and I think of the lowly folk of the towns who live barely able to feed themselves. It breaks my heart.
Outside the water troughs no longer flow water. They are here solely for decoration.
These photos are not good, but the next night we are out and there is suddenly a loud lot of noise.
Ramadan is over. It is time for them to celebrate.
What happens after this is not so good. A pregnant lady holding a small child is hit by a motorbike. The ambulance can’t get through the crowd and the screams of her and her child are horrible. I pray for her and leave. The crowd is so thick. They don’t need “rubber-neckers”. That moment made me so thankful we are safe in our travels.
What I find hard to believe is that every night for 3 nights the crowds are drawn to the square.
Corn is cooked on the grill. It smells good. There is popcorn and a lot of other wares for sale.
It is nice to smell the aroma of other foods apart from Tarjine – don’t get me wrong I love Tarjine. Just too much of a good thing… as they say.
So our final night is over. We head past our local grocer who has more cartons visible than stock and at first we think no-one is there. Then we see him tucked next to the refrigerator and I think he has passed out. No, it is prayer time and he bobs up and down. He finishes and serves us.
No,Meknes is by miles the cheapest town to shop in for Morocco. Come here to buy your souvenirs. Souks have most of the same items at a quarter of the price.
So if you are planning a trip to Morocco, make sure you put Riad Hiba and of course Meknes on your list. Friday’s it is closed as you will find many of the old cities, so keep that in mind. But it all comes to life every night of the week. To me, this was my favourite place to shop, and to stay. Just loved it!
We also stayed at a lovely Riad Hiba and I will blog on that separately soon.