Fez (also spelled Fes) is the medieval capital of Morocco, and was a great city of high Islamic civilization. Fez has the best-preserved old city (Medina) in the Arab world, with a sprawling, labyrinthine medina (Fes el-Bali) which is the largest car-free urban zone in the world. However, it was full of donkeys.
From Rabat we headed to Meknes, just east of Rabat. This was our first real opportunity to see the Moroccan countryside. And it was beautiful. Several things stand out.
First, there are donkeys everywhere. Donkeys carrying people along the side of the road. Donkeys carrying large packages along the side of the road. Donkeys carrying vegetables, and plants and anything else you can think of, along the side of the
road. We even saw wild donkeys, literally frolicking. One also sees sheep and goats and cows in the fields. This is farm land as agriculture is the number one industry (tourism is number 2) and Meknes lies in the midst of fertile land. It is in fact known for olives, wine and mint tea (so, what could be bad?).
We arrived in Casablanca at what we thought would be 5:45pm but turned out to be 7:45pm. All the computers said 6:45. Yet it was really 7:45. Seems Morocco changes its clock but nobody knows about it. And that was just the beginning of the confusion.
We left Fez early in the morning and headed to Merzouga in the Sahara desert. We drove through the Atlas Mountains, past Berber villages, mountain sides covered in sheep and wild donkeys, and just plain beautiful mountains. We passed through a town where many wealthy people come from Europe to buy villas as second homes and to go skiing (yes, there is skiing in Morocco).