Welcome to Volubilis the westerternmost Outpost of the Roman Empire. It is about 30km from Meknes and costs 350 Dirham for a return trip. I like to imagine what it was like to live in those times when visiting Archeological sites so tours and guides interfere. Instead I performed the Hindu ritual of covering myself in Ash as a friend recently advised ( thanks Anastasios)
This is one of the outer Gates. Amazing how the design of the Gate looks modern. Doors for pedestrians and a road for traffic. The first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the city. People lived here until the 18th Century. Then it was Cannibalized to Build Meknes.
Flavius Germanicus probably had a good life. He had a huge Villa on the main Road and an indoor swimming Pool.
There were little signs everywhere explaining lots of stuff like which houses served which purpose and what the different Mosaics represent but the House where I found this sculpture and
this one had no information. Luckily I was covered in Ash.
The only intact Building was the Mill. It must have been still operating when the rest of the town got stripped for it's Building Materials. Why else would it have been left intact?
Dancing Dolphins? Nearly 2000 years old and these Mosaics look like they just need a good mop. There were dozens of them and you can find lots of good pictures on the net, for example here
This looks like the Entrance to the main Square or Commercial district.
Where I am standing used to be houses only a few hundred years ago. The foundations and floors are remarkably well preserved and the Walls systematically removed. I was thinking about how amazing it would be to live in a two thousand year old House. I also found a House I liked.
It was on the outskirts of Town and had Room for a Garden. We are standing in the House right now.
This was the Town Hall, just next to the Market place. Here I imagine they had markets very much like the ones still going in the Jaama el Fna and other old town centers in Morocco today.
The alleys were just for foot traffic I Imagine. Very narrow.
I hope this picture gives some impression of how Large the Town was. It took me more than an Hour to walk around the site and take some Pictures. This has been the highlight of my trip so far. I just want to leave you with another two pictures, one of the Mecca of Morocco , Moulay Idriss which you can see from Volubilis.
It was getting late and the Taxi Driver told me the worthwhile attractions are closed to Infidels. Last one? well I like it.
Back at the Hotel I felt a bit lazy and had Dinner at the Hotel. Good Decision!! The Ibis in Meknes makes brilliant food. It is a bit pricier than elsewhere but the Quality makes up for it and as an added bonus I can pay by Credit Card. Since I can't get at my Bank account right now I need to preserve Cash and if that means eating in good Restaurants, so be it :-)