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Moulay Idriss Zerhoun is famous for a couple of things - most importantly where Moulay Idriss first introduced Islam to Morocco in 789.

Given we're a good way from the eastern and northern borders of Morocco, either the boundary lines changed over time, or he was very good at keeping secrets until he got this far into the country. Also, this puts it at about 150 years after Islam kicked off, so it's surprising no one around these parts had heard of it before then.


It's also the site of the Mausoleum of Idriss I -- but you can't get in unless you're Muslim -- and I believe you can't even stay in the town over night if you're not Muslim, which seems a wee bit harsh.

So, tourists clamber up to the open big wooden gates and try to get a view of .. not much at all .. and then go in search of the 'scenic lookout', which involves navigating through the windy narrow streets.

Many children, and indeed many adults, will tell you you're going the wrong way while offering to take your money in return for showing you the right way. The more agitated they get, and the more emphatic they are that you're going the wrong way, are both good signs that you're on the right path. If in doubt, just follow the string of corner stores selling bottled drinks and frozen treats -- and if it's Ramadan and you particularly want to piss off the kids that are so blatantly attempting to mislead you -- buy some of each and consume noisily.

And you ponder as you wander -- asking yourself what the concern might be with non-believers staying in the town, or now I think of it, how the town's perimeter is defined. They can't be too concerned about tourists dropping litter everywhere and generally making the place look like a fucking dump -- the locals seem to have this covered.


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