To end our second day in Morocco, we put up for the night in the city of Fes. Although the pictures below were taken the morning after, we actually arrived very late in the evening. Another awesome hotel and the benefit of taking package tour. You get good hotels, meals ready irrespective of what time you arrive and your luggage whisked to your room. This happens at ALL hotels we stayed in Morocco. They are damn organised and super efficient.
Tomorrow we will be exploring the city of Fes and will do a walking tour of the Medina.
Royal Mirage, Fes.
Big, comfortable beds in our spacious room.
LED Tv & Wi-fi in the hotel is a norm in Morocco even in 2012.
Our ground floor room overlooking the swimming pool.
View of the swimming pool from our veranda. No one in the pool in November .. the water is cold.
Our day in Fes started by touring the part of the city where the King’s palace is situated and thereafter entering the medina (souq). We entered the medina with another guide, Mr Idris who is a native and born in the medina itself. You would probably get lost going by yourself as there are literally hundreds of alleys inside it.
The clean and calm street in Fes city leading to the King’s palace.
From afar, the doors to the palace.
The exterior garden of the palace.
Doors closed, King not around, so you can go up close.
After the short city tour of Fes, we started to enter the Medina. We were escorted by a local tour guide, Mr.Idris who was born and grew up in the Medina. He is well versed with the alleys in the Medina that we never took a wrong turn or required to back-track.
Fes, a walled city was founded in the 9th century and home of the University of al-Karaouine, the oldest university in the world. Not England, OK? Fes was the capital of modern Morocco until 1925 and is listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is believed to be one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas.
In the Medina you will come across market selling fresh produce and poultry, a 14th century religious school, various stores selling whatever you require, leather tannery right up to a full-fledged modern commercial bank. From liquid to metal, clothe to carpets, live chickens to ATM machines, mosque to art centre, eating stalls to luxury hotel. Everything under the sun.
Our walking tour of the Medina lasted five hours with an hour’s break for lunch. The wonderful part is from where we started, until we exit the Medina, it was all the way gradual downhill. So no stress in walking. About the only thing creating traffic jam in the narrow alleys were the donkeys used for transportation. No cars inside, in-fact could not recall seeing bicycles. Everybody walks and there are hundreds of alleys inside.
Bab Boujloud. We used this gate to enter the Medina. It was all downhill gradient until the exit at the other side of town where our bus was waiting.
One of the other gate into the Medina.
Our tour guide Mr Idris to the right doing a head count before entering the Medina.
A stall selling pancake in the Medina.
Like any other market, live poultry available.
Another stall selling various types of pickles. The store owner has a picture of their King visiting his stall.
The renowned 14th century Islamic school, Madrasa Bou Inania. Non-Muslim visitors welcomed.
An interior section of the Madrasa.
Shop specialising in brass and copper wares.
A demonstration of how a brass tray is being engraved.
One of the empty alleys in the Medina.
So remote are some alley ways it is less used.
Out of nowhere, this posh Kassr Art Collection gallery emerged..
Stall selling foot-wares.
Stalls offering Moroccan designed garments, scarfs and cloths.
Any one for silk shawl ?
Beautiful carpets sold in the Medina. They will arrange shipping for you.
A tannery from the balcony of a leather shop. Awful smell …. you’ll be offered fresh mint to help you overcome the foul smell.
Once you’re near the tannery, naturally you’ll find leather goods.
Leather jackets anyone?
Traffic jam in the Medina.
More traffic jam.
At the exit of the Medina the other side of town, there’s Hotel Tombouktou.