For some reason, I never imagined Morocco as a land of agriculture, but the truth is that about 30% of the area is farmland with very fertile, black soil. Yellow melons scattered like Easter eggs over field after field and hay stacks the size of barns whizzed past as we hurried towards the site of Volubilis.
Commonly considered to have been the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania, Volubilis came under Roman rule from the 1st century and prospered for a couple of hundred years until attacked by local tribes. Being located so far from Rome, it was never retaken but remained inhabited and was used as the first capital of Morocco prior to Fez becoming he seat of power. The abandoned town remained mostly intact until the Lisbon earthquake and today, there are only a few structures still standing, such as the triumphal arc. The national birds, storks, made good use of the pillars and columns as platforms for their bulky nests; you can see them almost everywhere in the agricultural regions of their country, much favouring electric pylons. A couple of fantastic mosaic floors have also been uncovered, as well as a risqué relief in what is assumed to have been the brothel.
Close to Volubilis lies the holy town of Moulay Idriss, where we had lunch and took a stroll through the souk, filled with local produce. The tomb of Moulay Idriss I, the founder of the town as well as the first Muslim dynasty that brought Islam to Morocco, is much venerated and visited, but only open to Muslims.