Final Day with Explorica

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Africa » Morocco
June 24th 2019
Published: June 28th 2019
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Just as soon as it began, the trip was already winding to a close. Today was our last full day together. We left Fez for the long push to Casablanca via Volubilis, where some of the best preserved Roman ruins can be found. It was a hot afternoon, but wandering among the vaulted arches, sunken baths, and tiled floors as lovely as they were in their day was completely with it!

Then we visited the capitol city of Rabat and the Hassan I mosque (father of the current king, Hassan II). It was comprised of a sprawling courtyard of white sandstone with a minaret at one end and a shrine at the other. Non-Muslims are permitted to enter the shrine, so we bypassed the two guards on horseback, climbed the wide staircase, and entered the beautiful two-story mausoleum where the former king and his two sons are buried. Inside, we realized we were on the second floor and could look over the railings to the floor below where a white marble tomb lay. A man reading the Koran sat stoically in the corner. Everywhere we looked, walls and pillars were decorated in intricate geometric tile mosaics. We didn't have to be Muslim to feel a strong sense of reverence there.

We had lunch at a restaurant next to a lovely marina. A little kitten mewed at us for handouts as we ate our calamari or chicken and rice. So cute! Then it was back on the bus for Casablanca.

By evening, we arrived at the hotel for a nice buffet dinner in the lobby. Most turned in early to pack and repack, adjusting for new souvenir purchases. I learned later the girls stayed up all night watching movies! Needless to say, when we all reconvened in the lobby at 3:45 a.m. for their flight home, it had been a short night! I think it just meant they didn't want the trip to end. What a great adventure! I'm grateful to the students for their joyful attitudes, every single day, even in spite of the bug bites, the road-weariness, and the unfamiliar surroundings. They were an absolute delight! And I'm grateful to the parents for all the thoughtful conversations and their enthusiasm for visiting these new places. And thanks to Bryan for co-leading this trip. It was so great to have someone to keep count of the students with me! Another successful student trip in the books!

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