Staring at storks on summer’s day in Volubilis, Morocco

Remnants of a home in Volubilis, Morocco

Remnants of a home in Volubilis, Morocco

Even if you’ve never heard of Volubilis, it’s a place we’d put on anyone’s must-see list for Morocco.

Rolling hills and green pastures: Volubilis, Morocco

Rolling hills and green pastures: Volubilis, Morocco

With an idyllic setting akin to fields of green, Volubilis is a place to breathe deeply and listen carefully to sounds of gentle breezes, harvesters gathering wheat, and low-voiced scholars marveling at the mosaics in this city built by Romans in the second century, considered the ancient capital of the kingdom of Mauretania.

Roaming the remains of structures in Volubilis, Morocco

Roaming the remains of structures in Volubilis, Morocco

From this hill town, you can gaze at Meknes not so far away . . .

View of Meknes from the hilltop vantage point of Volubilis

View of Meknes from the hilltop vantage point of Volubilis

and watch as country settings worthy of paintings unfold before you.

A farmer with his donkey moves cuttings along a country road.

A farmer with his donkey moves cuttings along a country road.

People flock to Volubilis for its ruins — remnants of fine town homes with intricate mosaic floors still miraculously intact even after earthquakes in the 18th century rocked the foundations and looters carried off stones for the building of Meknes just over the hill.

Remains of the Arch of Caracalla at Volubilis stand tall against the sky.

Remains of the Arch of Caracalla at Volubilis stand tall against the sky.

Now, as a World Heritage Site, Volubilis commands the respect it deserves, and photographers, historians, and architects roam the grounds seeking insight into the past life of this olive-growing community nestled in the countryside.

But for all its remaining grandeur and historic lure, historic Volubilis lost out the day we were there to another sight, an unexpected one:  a rather large stork’s nest perched atop a marble column, home to a mother and little ones.

Stork's nest features prominently in the view of the Basilica

And unexpected sight:
a stork’s nest prominently perched on a column near the Basilica

In fact, most people that day were staring at the storks.

Sitting by the storks at Volubilis and taking it all in!

Sitting by the storks at Volubilis and taking it all in!

No matter how much the tourists wanted to look more closely at the mosaics or have their pictures taken as they posed in the archways of the Basilica, their attention just couldn’t — or wouldn’t — veer from that fascinating family of storks.

Some posing for pictures, some staring at storks at the archway in Volubilis

Some posing for pictures, some staring at storks at the archway in Volubilis

And when in Volubilis . . . well, we did the same.  After all, stork sightings are rare for us.  With the exception of a few in Romania, we can’t say we’ve seen these high-mounded nests anywhere else in the world, although we know they’re there.  We just hadn’t been fortunate enough to see them. Until this day.

Mother and babies -- the storks of Volubilis

Mother and babies — the storks of Volubilis

But here they were.  And here also was that family of storks.  Almost everyone in Volubilis that day did as we did:  We all watched for long periods of time, holding our cameras still, hoping to see that mama stork pop her head up and smile at the crowd between feedings!

The object of our affection at historic Volubilis

The object of our affection at historic Volubilis

And so it was.  We went for the ruins and the history and the countryside at Volubilis . . .

Looking back at Volubilis, but remembering the storks!

Looking back at Volubilis, but remembering the storks!

but what left us breathless (yet smiling) were storks. (And, as if this one nest wasn’t enough, we noted a whole tower of nests as we approached the highway headed to Fes the next day!)

A tower of storks in Morocco

A tower of storks in Morocco

We’re adding Stork Staring to our list of must-do’s when in Morocco!

— Bert and Rusha Sams

You can find more of Marvelous Morocco under Travel Series in the heading of our blog.

 

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
This entry was posted in Marvelous Morocco, Morocco, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Staring at storks on summer’s day in Volubilis, Morocco

  1. Bisi says:

    Volubilis is another example of how diverse Morocco’s landscape is. Your pictures are beautiful by the way!

    • Thanks for the compliment on my photography. I do try, but I’m no professional by any means. And yes, Morocco’s landscape is diverse. We loved Volubilis. When you leave the hectic sounds of the cities, it’s nice to come to a place steeped in history where you can roam quietly and observe nature, people, storks, etc. Thanks for visiting!

  2. And the storks stole the day! But you still did justice to the rest of the city, Rusha, capturing what was, and, with the man and his donkey, what is. I liked the beasties in the mosaics! 🙂 –Curt

  3. Can you imagine? One never knows what they are going to find and see on a vacation! Fabulous!

  4. de Wets Wild says:

    The storks sure know how to pick a place to raise a family!

  5. Amy says:

    Thank you for the fascinating tour, Arusha! Great captures. I love the photos of storks.

    • We were mesmerized by those storks — mainly because we don’t see them at all where we live. I could stand there and watch all day. Since then, we’ve seen nests in chimneys and atop buildings. We started looking in earnest after this visit to Volubilis. Pretty neat!

  6. nancymaland5340 says:

    LOVED reading this post! Oh lucky you to experience it!

    Keep writing and posting!!!
    Cheers!
    Nancy

    From: “Oh, the Places We See . . .”
    Reply-To: “the Places We See . . .”
    Date: Friday, January 4, 2019 at 2:34 PM
    To:
    Subject: [New post] Staring at storks on summer’s day in Volubilis, Morocco

    Oh, the Places We See posted: ” Even if you’ve never heard of Volubilis, it’s a place we’d put on anyone’s must-see list for Morocco. With an idyllic setting akin to fields of green, Volubilis is a place to breathe deeply and listen carefully to sounds of gentle breezes, harv”

  7. maristravels says:

    That tower of storks is amazing. What a great photograph and what a great memory for you.

    • You are so right — amazing. We couldn’t believe so many storks would build those enormous nests in such precarious places! We loved spotting storks’ nests — about like looking for eagles here in the U. S. (But we hardly ever find those!)

  8. Sue says:

    I feel the need to get to Volubilis!!

    • Sue, you would love Volubilis! Plenty of opportunities to take pics — and all in a tranquil setting. I wouldn’t have picked it out of a tour guide, but our travel agent suggested it, and we were stunned at the great pieces left behind.

Leave a Reply to Amy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.