Friday, 1 June 2012


It was the most amazing journey. I expected nothing and was faced with a dazzling light, an unbelievably blue-green water, mountains, pastures, lakes, yellow, white, huge Storks nesting beautiful and ungainly beside the train tracks.

Taza was an amazing town, in many ways better than Fes, a marked lack of tourists, an amazing fruit market, Moroccan strawberries by the kilo, for pence, and I noticed a lot of buildings painted red, something I hadn't seen in Fes, but which was so good to pass-by, simple things an' all that. Additionally, we came across a green, outside a Lycee, filled with families, grandparents and grandchildren, young folks, eating BBQ'd almond pastries, and enjoying the sun in a very non British lobster-skinned stronbow-eyed shouty way. Pleasant.

First a walk up into the hills on the outskirts, slightly foolish wandering without a map in an unknown landscape, luckily I have the (evidently not so) common sense to follow a river and path, that we could follow back. Second a venture into Taza's Medina, or old town, with a customary (well, c'mon!?) sweet-nut pastry, then onto the new town. I noticed the Moroccans are big on dessert and VERY sweet teas. Passed lots of Ice-creameries, pastry and cake establishments and sweet milk/yogurt themed drink/eateries, oh and pharmacies, a pharmacy on every corner in both Fes and Taza, possibly serving as diabetes check-points... 

The headache I had from a few days cous cous (since discovered a wheat intolerance) consumption, heat, and the fact that I did all the communication and load-carrying (seriously, the inept fellow didn't even consider we might need water on a very warm mountain hike in Morocco, or the fact that I was draped in sweat-soaked scarves, out of consideration for others, locals who might not have liked the sight of a very bare arm, let alone a bare and scarred arm!) did dampen my spirits slightly, but being verbally accosted by a traveling bud, in addition to these things made for a truly unpleasant evening. It was a beautiful day, but experiencing it alone, or with a sensitive and like minded soul would have really made it memorable, now it just seems a series of small discomforts in a wonderfully intriguing place. Here are the last two photographs from Taza, followed by some of the last day in Fes.

The last day was great because I spent the majority of it alone and free to absorb the shapes and sounds of Fes, without fear of being laughed at for gasping at a bloody amazing ray of light spearing the shadowed winding streets.

 The flight home was hellish, I had to sit next to a man tell me how I was sub-human because of my interest in nature essentially. I'm not perfect, but I'm no fucking solipsist either. I sound quite the complainer here, unfortunately it seems this is the place I most often vent, but I don't vent that often. And no matter what, I don't have a contempt for and of nature. I'm not better than anything, and the idea that things are better than others, this sense of entitlement and satisfaction in detachment is THE root of all the problems and conflicts that there are. I do not think it is a sign of weakness to be bowled over by beauty. It should be a fucking affirmation of strength if anything. Especially in this world, where this bowling over is much-maligned, and the wonderment is punched out of you by sad, and petty pseudo intellectuals.