Our next stop on our tour of Morocco was at one of the fossil outlets in Erfoud. There appears to be an abundance of a range of different fossils to be found in the nearby desert. The factory and obligatory retail outlet we went through was the Macro Fossiles Kasbah as shown in today’s photos.
On our guided tour I found out that there are millions of fossils in the area, mostly trilobites but also a variety of other fossilised creatures. This factory finds the fossils, cuts them into various shapes and polishes them ready for sale in the adjoining shop. The range of items for sale is amazing. It includes small items like key rings, plates, bowls and dishes, wah basins, fountains, tables and much more.
I would love to have bought one of the wonderfully polished tables, but the cost of buying it would have blown our holiday budget. The cost of shipping it to Australia would have added greatly to the cost. I could but dream. (I also had the same feelings in the ceramic factory in Fes – see here for photos.)
I will show more photos of this factory and the shop in coming days.
On our wanderings through the medina of Fes in Morocco we saw many interesting shops and many fascinating things for sale. The range of foods was especially amazing. Some shops specialised, like the one shown above which stocked mainly dates and nuts, all beautifully arranged in bowls. We actually bought a few dates and enjoyed them along the way, especially on our bus trips and later on the train. In fact, we still had a handful left when we arrived home in Australia and were surprised we were able to bring them into the country; we had declared them at the airport.
The photos below show several other shops in Fes.
The streets of Morocco are usually filled with milling crowds of people, especially in the medina like the one in Fes.
The sounds, smells and constant movement adds to this confusion for the visitor like me.
It was therefore a pleasant surprise to come across a brief hiatus in the bustling crowds as shown in today’s photos. It enabled me to had a good look at some of the items for sale. It also afforded an unusually good photographic opportunity, clear of the crowds.
I found that the shop shown in today’s photo is something of a mystery to me. The dresses on sale in this shop are not your traditional or typical type of dress worn in Morocco.
So who was the target customer? Was it non-Moslem women? Are these aimed at the younger women trying to break free from traditional Islamic practices? (Our guide told me that this is increasingly an issue facing Morocco, especially in the workplace where traditional male only roles are being challenged by young, independent educated women.) Or perhaps these dresses are for tourists only or maybe also consular or NGO staff working in the area.
Whatever the reason, they certainly are glamorously beautiful.
I didn’t see many books or bookshops during our meanderings in various cities and towns of Morocco. We probably didn’t go to the right places.
This one in the medina in Fes was a small shop in comparison to most bookshops we have here in Australia. It was, however, rather large when compared to most retail outlets in this part of Morocco. Space in the medina is limited, so the owner of the shop crowded as much material as possible into the available space. It looks like a very efficient use of the shelves he had to store the material. It all looks neat and tidy to me.
As I couldn’t read the language I can’t say with certainty what the books were about, but some of the covers indicated to me that the emphasis was on Islamic materials almost exclusively. It’s probably the equivalent of our church run bookshops here in Australia.