Volubilis Takes Me A Step Back in Time
My second day in Meknes, I visited Volubilis, one of Roman ruins in Morocco. Due to its location located 35 km out of Meknes city, I was not be able to travel there by utilizing Petite Taxi that generally easy to find in Meknes. The manager of Riad Meknes, the hotel where I stayed in, assisted me to get Grand Taxi for myself. Once the driver and I left the city, we had the beauty of scenery of country side, with its large meadow and Rift mountain in the background. In several occasion, we also passed some shepherds guarding their lambs while crossing the road, donkey cart with its luggages and many more. I did enjoy the journey a lot by watching it quietly.
That day, the weather was good, not too hot and not too cold either. However, I still kept the light jacket inside my bag, to anticipate the weather that could change anytime since when I left Meknes, the temperature was a bit lower than usual.
As other museum in Morocco, the entrance fee to enter Volubilis is not expensive where I just need to pay 10 Dirham for myself. The shape of the facade in Volubilis reminded me of roman ruins that I saw in Ephesus, Turkey. However, unfortunately, I didn’t find many explanation on the boards at each site. Therefore, hiring local guide would help me to understand more about the history and the function of the ruins. In addition, the guide who I hired was also good in taking photos and he didn’t mind to get my portrait while explaining the site.
As many cities found in Roman times, Volubilis was well-developed in its time. During my trip, I witnessed the development where many public infrastructures were available in those periodic, such as public toilet and drainage. I also found some fountains functioned as bath house for the elites. In addition, a large amphitheater was still standing which I believed used as gathering place for city citizen to watch entertainment and sport performance. Meanwhile, a huge city entrance was available with wide street as circulation facilities for the publics.
In the middle of city, I found a huge ruins, which according to my guide was functioned as city hall in those times. There was no sign that church or mosque ever stood there. My guide told me that during those periods, the people had belief for the God and Goddess, such as Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, the strong Hercules, etc. From the paintings remained on building floor, it was believed that once the Gods and Goddess once had stayed in Volubilis. It was interesting experience to imagine myself taking a step back in those time period, witnessing the daily life of citizen of the city.
On my way back to Meknes, I asked my driver to pass Moulay Idriss, a city which is considered as one of the holiest city in Morocco. In 789 AD, Moulay Idriss Zerhoun arrived in the city, brought Islam as his religion and started to establish a new dynasty. The town itself was occupied by narrow streets as many found at other cities in Morocco. Therefore, I didn’t stop and continued my way back to Meknes.