cerebral museum

Meknés and tree-climbing goat shit seed oil, Morocco

Posted in Uncategorized by Cassandra on March 31, 2010

Meknés, Morocco

Meknés came after Rabat. Only a few hours on a train, and I was there. Took a petit taxi into the city center and found a hostel rather easily for only 6 euros/night. It’s the old imperial city of Morocco. Pretty small, beautiful light. Lots of hills and a really incredible old gate that was hosting an art exhibit. Stayed here only two days. Ate some really good carrot soup, passed up the avocado shakes (?) and bought a ton of Argan oil.

The small glass bottle above holds Argan oil, which all of the women in Morocco use like lotion. It can be really expensive in boutiques, but also found in the stalls hidden in the souks. I looked for the latter, and bought this bottle for 11dH (about $1). It’s made from argan seeds, which grow on a short and sturdy tree native to the southern climate. The seeds have a rock hard exterior casing, and can’t be processed in their natural state. The fruit is eaten by insane tree climbing goats (which I saw but didn’t get a photo of).  The local women then collect the seeds from the goats’ shit, wash them, and extract the oil from the now breakable seeds. It’s a chemical in the goat’s stomach that breaks down the shell. The oil smells like heady hazelnuts.


Above, the main plaza in the medina. In the background you can see the huge gate. Below, food porn.


Pretty light here. Also ballsy taxi drivers, and a lot of snake charmers and story tellers in the plaza. Sat here and people watched contentedly for hours. Second morning in the city I left on a day trip to see the roman ruins at Volubilis, then caught a late train for Fez.


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