Volubilis

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Volubilis is home to the best Roman remains in Morocco. The town was founded in 3rd century BC, and was the capital of the kingdom of Mauretania. It became part of the Roman Empire from 44 AD until 3rd century AD, after which it gradually declined before being abandoned at some point between 11th and 14th century.

Most of what remains dates from 1st and 2nd centuries AD, when at peak it was home to 20,000 people. The economy was driven by olive oil production, but the area was also one of the main sources of lions for Roman games.

Despite being one of the most remote and far flung outposts of the Roman Empire it was a wealthy small town, illustrated by the quality of the many mosaics that remain.

There were also some lovely views across the surrounding countryside.

Nearby is the historic town of Moulay Idriss, where Islam in Morocco started back in 789.

Heading onto Fez the landscape was nicely lit.

This view of Barrage Sidi Chahed was quite stunning, both for the vibrancy of the water, and the surrounding landscape which reminded me of Bolivia’s surreal Los Lipez desert. The dam was built in the 1990s for irrigation and as a back up water supply for nearby Meknes.

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