Last night we met the remainder of our "group", all 36 of them if you count the guide, and did the usual "introduce yourself" to the group - a bit tedious but probably necessay. Today we got underway towards the city of Fes by way of Rabat,. Rabat is the modern capital of Morocco and as its role would suggest it is a large and busy place.

We were in Rabat partly because it is on the way to Fes (which is one of the must see places in Morocco) and partly to see the tomb of Hassan II. In order to understand the significance of the tomb our guide gave us the very short course in Moroccan history.

The big names in recent Moroccan history are Mohammad V, Hassan II and Mohammad VI. Hassan II was the king during the final days of French rule (which ended in 1956) and for a while he was exiled by the French to one of their other colonies but in any case he finally got back into town and used the post war colonial independence movement to rid the country of their French masters. As a result he is seen as something of a hero. Mohammad V was Hassan's father and as far as I can tell that is his main claim to fame. Mohammad VI is Hassan's son and current king. He came to power at the age of 16 and is now 52. He seems to have been smart enough to bend with the forces of the Arab spring and in 2011 he made a power sharing deal with local politicians that turned his reign into a constitutional monarchy.