Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Day 36 Fes

We spent the morning wandering in the medina, which was an amazing experience.  Our riad is a good example of residences, with very plain walls on the outside, but ornate inside because Muslims don't like to flaunt their wealth.  Obviously not all dwellings are as exotic, but the general principle is the same.

Courtyard of our riad 

The streets are very narrow, some incredibly so, and there is no motorised transport - just donkeys and hand carts.  

As we walked along, we would glance into open doorways, and it might be a little cafe, or shop, or work space, or it could be a larger communal bakery, or a space with a loom.  We saw one man making cutlery from cows horns.  There were areas where they sold clothes, or books or spectacles.  There was a meat area, and an area for olives, etc, etc.  it was so interesting.  Some areas of the medina dated from the 8th century.

We also saw the worlds oldest university, which is here in Fes.

We went to a collective that sold carpets, a tannery where all sorts of leather goods were for sale, and a fabric area where they sold kaftans and djellaba, the traditional long, loose fitted garment worn by men and women.  I might look for one of those in Marrakech - it would make a great winter dressing gown.

This afternoon we visited the village of Bhalil, where local people still live in dwellings carved out of rock.  They started out as caves, and many have been enlarged.  They are cool in summer and warm in winter.  We visited 2 of them and it was interesting to see the difference, and hear stories of life there.

We called at a pottery on the way back to city where we saw them throwing a tangine, hand painting pottery, and chipping tiles to make mosaics.

We had dinner at the riad, and an early night as we have a very early start tomorrow.

A fascinating day.


  1. Great stories, Sue. Really fascinating, and certainly things we've never seen!

  2. Linley gave me the link to your blog. Great to read about your travels. You are certainly having some varied experiences. It sounds wonderful. You are missing some challenging weather here but everyone is safe and doing fine. Love kx