A better experience in Fes

So, you might be wondering – what did we like about Fes after our rough start? Well, we did manage to find a few things! We had two full days in Fes as well as a side trip to the fabulous Roman ruins of the city of Volubulis.  In between the lowlights, we found some awesome things.   The whole of old Fes is a medina – a walled city, full of mosques, souks and shops as well as houses and riads.  The entire space is car free, and it’s huge – the wall surrounding it is 19km long!  Our first highlight was finding the main shopping streets in Fes. Here, we browsed and found a perfume shop – they mix up imitation perfumes right in front of you – I came away with a $3 NZ bottle of imitation “Dolce and Gabbana – the One”.

 

At the perfume shop
At the perfume shop

 

We tried yummy snacks – biscuits like Shrewsbury biscuits and fresh squeezed orange juice.  We walked through the streets and found the mini tannery – less famous than the main one and with no tourists (possibly because access to it was through what seemed like a junk yard!)

 

Street snacks
Street snacks

 

At the less popular tannery
At the less popular tannery

 

We also found the more famous tanneries (pictured above) – finding a place to see them was harder but they were visually stunning.

 

Looking down on the tannery
Looking down on the tannery

 

We saw the outside of the Kairaouine Mosque – as non-Muslims we weren’t allowed in.

 

Looking into the mosque
Looking into the mosque

 

We wandered the streets, finding arches, endless winding alleys and camel’s meat for sale.  The medina was crazy and we had to come up with landmarks to find our riad again.  Our route from the main road was take the random alleyway, turn right at the street seller with the orange masks on the wall (just hope he hasn’t covered them at night!) keep going past the hairdresser with the picture of three women in the window, turn left through the dark overhanging alleyway, go up the stairs to the right, turn left at the blue star and then turn right at the point on the wall where the graffiti says 2Pac.  Then the riad will be on your left!

 

Walking the winding streets
Walking the winding streets

 

One of the gates in
One of the gates into the medina

 

Camel for sale
Camel for sale

 

We hiked up to the Merenid tombs, which gave a beautiful view of the medina. (Unfortunately we took some wrong turns and hiked further than we needed to but that’s all part of the fun of the medina!)

 

Looking down from the tombs
Looking down from the tombs

 

Up at the tombs
Up at the tombs

 

We visited the theologicial college Bou Inania Medersa, a beautiful oasis of calm in the heart of the medina.

 

At the college
At the college

 

We people watched while eating couscous and tagine, and found a great relaxed cafe to watch the sun go down from. We shared mint tea and chats with Mohamed, our riad manager.  Our riad was beautiful and had great views of the city from the rooftop terrace where we took our breakfast.  Fes grew on us, and although we didn’t enjoy it as much as Chefchaouen, it was definitely an experience!

 

Reubs on the rooftop terrace
Reubs on the rooftop terrace

 

Watching the sunset
Watching the sunset

 

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. hayley says:

    oooh – you should have bought the camels head! I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a problem to lug around! 🙂

    Like

    1. Karen Olson says:

      Oh, it was tempting!!

      Like

  2. Mum Bunn says:

    I would like the perfume shop, with all those pretty glass bottles. And I loved your landmarks for your route back to the riad!! It’s great that you found some positives in your Fes visit.

    Like

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