Volubilis, Roman Ruins, Morocco ©travelmagnolia2016

Morocco | Great Day Trips from Fez

Whenever possible, I like to unpack and settle in for at least five nights in one place. That reduces the time spent on logistics and, conversely, increases time for fun! We spent five nights in Fez which gave us plenty of opportunity to explore the city and also make two day trips.

Chefchaouen

Berber with produce

To visit Chefchaouen is to step back in time.The city is located in the Rif mountains and was developed as a fortress in the late 16th century and was a refuge for Moors and Jews fleeing the Spanish inquisition (it is only about 60 miles from the Mediterranean).  Continue reading “Morocco | Great Day Trips from Fez”

A Day at Persepolis | Iran

Few places exceed my expectations as did Iran overall and Persepolis specifically. I never took Ancient History and don’t know mythology well. Even so, I fell under the spell of this remarkable place. Persepolis, known to Iranians as Takht-e Jamshid (throne of Jamshid – a mythic being who – in the middle ages – was thought to have built it)  was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire for a little over two centuries (ca. 550–330 BCE). Conceived by and with construction commenced under Darius the Great and destroyed by Alexander the Great (the historian Plutarch contended that it took 20,000 mules and 5,000 camels to remove the treasure), the city’s ruins are marvelous to behold. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Persepolis is easy to reach from Shiraz and warrants an entire day to absorb its wonders.  Continue reading “A Day at Persepolis | Iran”

Cyrus the Great Slept Here (Pasargadae, Iran)

Miles from nowhere, the 6th century BCE complex of Pasargadae was built by  Cyrus the Great  who was the first ruler of the Achaemenid Empire. Renowned for its centralized administration, respect for its diverse population and human rights, at its peak, the empire extended from the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the present day Pakistani-Indian border. Pasargadae is one of 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran. The 160 hectare (400 acre) … Continue reading Cyrus the Great Slept Here (Pasargadae, Iran)