Monday, February 3, 2014

The Roman ruins of Volubilis

During our stay in Fes, we were offered an optional day trip.
We settled onto a small bus for a two hour trip away from all of the hustle and bustle
and out into a Moroccan valley to visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis.
The ruins date back two thousand years and have been partially excavated and restored.

Volubilis Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

This was once a prosperous Roman city that centered around olives and the production of olive oil.
It was abandoned in the 11th Century and excavated by the French in the late 1800's.
Damaged by earthquakes and looted for limestone, some of the ruins have been restored.

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Here you will see some of the most impressive examples of intact Roman mosaics.

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

We had a very friendly English speaking guide that led us around the ruins.
It was such a beautiful day and it felt good to be out in the fresh air after the intensity of Fes.

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

It's not a Roman ruin without some phallic carving to declare this space a brothel.

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

We had gorgeous views of the surrounding fertile countryside and I could easily imagine myself in Italy.

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

We spent a few hours exploring and taking photos, watching the views change as the sun went down.
We stopped for a coffee at the ramshackle cafe on site before heading back to Fes.

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

Volubilis Roman Ruins near Fez, Morocco

My notes for that day say that were were too exhausted to even have dinner that night.
We just finished off some junk food from our bags and went to bed early.
I think all of that sunshine and open space was just what we needed midway through our tour of Morocco.

Where are your favorite Roman ruins?



21 comments:

  1. Nice pics. Looks so sunny and warm.

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  2. What a place! It's so incredible I cannot even begin to fathom how beautiful it was in all of its glory. And thanks, before today I never knew that stone penises were used to designate a brothel #goodtoknow :P

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  3. We just got back from Morocco as well, (I'm blogging about it this week too), but we didn't make it to Fez or the ruins--not enough time. But your photos are beautiful. We are lovers of antiquity so we've seen a lot of ruins and it's hard to give a favorite. Pompeii is great given it's state of preservation, but then there are fantastic ruins in Turkey as well--love Ephesus. Then again, I love a well preserved aqueduct. My husband is running the Rome marathon in March so we are headed back and this time I am determined to see some lesser known ruins--or ones I've missed in the past.

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  4. Great post, Selena. My favourite Roman ruins are just up the road from me - The Roman theatre, amphitheater, bridge and alcazar and the National Museum of Roman Art in Mérida (plus a load more in the surrounding area) and, of course, the Roman Spa in my village :-)

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  5. How beautiful! I love the wildflowers!

    http://liveitinerantly.com/

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  6. SueB @highheelsinthewildernessFebruary 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Beautiful photos, Selena. I've never been..but from snowy Canada that sunshine and warmth certainly looks inviting. I just finished reading the Maria Duenas novel The Time in Between set in civil war Spain and in Morocco, esp Tetouan. The descriptions of Morocco are fasscinating.

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  7. What a beautiful area and you're so right, it totally looks like it could be in Italy :)

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  8. What beautiful ruins! And what a nice day to get some fresh air!!

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  9. Oh wow, this looks stunning! Beautiful photos. How unexpected to discover a place like this in Morocco!

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  10. Really beautiful pictures! Looks like it was such a beautiful day too, greatly captured in the pictures.
    BTW is that a penis in one of the pictures lol
    http://www.itsallbee.com

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  11. Um. Yep. It's a penis. :) It was from the Brothel. I wasn't sure if I should include it but what the hell. It's history, right?

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  12. Thanks, Jessi. It was really nice to get out into the countryside and explore. Such a pretty day, too.

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  13. It was much needed after the intensity of the Medinas. Morocco was a bit overwhelming.

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  14. I love the Cyprus trees! I need to get to Italy soon.

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  15. Thanks so much, Sue. I'm going to have to check out that book. Thanks so much for the recommendation. Lovely to meet another Canadian! Most of my new friends in London are from Canada! :D So glad that you commented. I followed your blog on Bloglovin and can't wait to read more!! xoxo Selena

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  16. Lucky girl!! I need to come visit your neck of the woods.

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  17. Brooke, I'm dying to see your posts about Morocco. What is your blog? Ephesus was a amazing wasn't it? I can't believe you can just walk around and touch everything. I would love to get back to Rome!! Someday. It's on the list. Thanks so much for reading & commenting. :D xoxo Selena

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  18. Happy to provided some educational information ;) Those Romans were a frisky lot. I wish time travel was possible don't you? (Not for the penis, but to see the ruins in all of their glory.) xoxo

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  19. Thanks, Brittany!! I could use some of that sun and warmth about you.

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  20. That is a man riding a donkey backwards?! The views look gorgeous too! The best Roman ruin I have ever visited is The Colosseum. I think that might be a bit of an obvious choice though!

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  21. I think he is... not sure what that's all about. But I think he might be doing it wrong. The Colosseum is pretty amazing. Did you visit the Roman Forum, too? I went when I was in high school, so that was my first taste of ancient history.

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