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Ancient Roman ruins in Morocco

5/4/09

Another great day in Sefrou.

Yassine had heard rumours of Roman ruins on top of a distant mountain (okay, not that distant, about 15 kilometers) so we decided to make a day of it and hike out there and see if we could find them.

We started out early in the morning. Hanane, me, Yassine, and our friend Adil.

First we had to climb Sefrou’s version of Diamond Head. No steps up this one and we were able to put our rock climbing/bouldering skills to work.

We passed a big whitewashed cave that is suppossed to be the last resting place of the prophet Daniel according to Jewish legend. Sefrou had a population made up of 1/3 Jewish until the French left in the 1950’s, at this point the Jews all decided to go to Israel.

Anyway, the cave was stupendously big. And spooky. I snapped a couple of pictures with the flash and this is what one of them revealed. I swear the face was not there when I took the photo.

After this, we did the afroementioned bouldering and I noticed we were being followed by a couple of young guys that seemed to want to come along.

I called them over and we met our new young friends, Mohammad and Samir.

Lots of road hiking and going through random fields of soybeans and other crops and then we reached the next mountain we needed to climb.

Hanane found a big coral snake and almost got bit by it and we were almost out of water, but we persevered after a short orange break under a big fig tree.

The boys said they had been here before but it was impossible to get to the top. We went for it anyway.

After more bouldering and a few false starts, we made it to the top and found the ruins. The top was covered with ancient pot shards. I took a few from the surface, even though it ruined the provenience of the site.

We shared our lunch, snapped lots of picutres of Fes way down below us and then we took the long hike back. We stopped and had water from a Berber well and also from a natural spring flowing from the rocks.

In addition to the pot sherds, we also found numerous minerals of different colors and types. Lots of crystals.

I had wanted to dig around and treasure hunt, but I really didn’t want to mess this site up.

On the top we found a vertical wind that would take flowers we threw into it and transport them up into the air and then out to who knows where.


On the road on the way back we found two beatles rolling a ball of dung.

And all along the way, we found more ruins, more caves, and more fruit and flowers.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3329/3500062701_6ea244d402.jpg?v=0
And then we made it back…very very tired. Wow.

No one is doing any archeology here. It’s a shame I’m not more qualified.

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Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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