Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fes Medina

Fes boasts the largest medina in the world. One quarter of the city's one million population live in the medina. By now we consider ourselves old hands at medinas; nevertheless, I was overwhelmed though it was not as daunting as I remembered from our visit in 2000.

While there is not the constant threat of scooters as in Marrakech - Fes is hilly - there are hand carts and donkeys to watch out for, and I was rather annoyed by the large number of touts. There are endless interrogations on what do you want, this way, where are you going, I can be your guide, look at my such-such shop, eat at my restaurant, come see the tanneries. We managed two visits to Fes without the tanneries, just walking by all the live and dead (meat in the markets) animals makes me queasy enough.

To be fair, one can still see the many traditional (and modern) trades in Fes. There are a lot of people, especially older men, hard at work. It seemed this is the only place I see more of them hard at work rather than relaxing at cafes. Actually, the lack of better economic opportunity (how hard people have to work for how little they get) is almost too poignant for me. My only comfort is John said we wouldn't stay in the medina the next time we come to Fes.

We stayed just inside the medina's main gate, Bab Bou Jeloud, aka the Blue Gate.
Fes, Morocco

The hotel's rooftop terrace was peaceful with a very good view.
Night view from hotel rooftop terrace - Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

The hotel was also near The Water Clock and the Madrasa Bou Inania (school).
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

We, and some Japanese tourists, managed to catch a glimpse inside the Kairaouine Mosque, when the doors opened for noon prayers.
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Wandering through the medina.
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Souk - Fes, Morocco

The metalsmith souk is a must-see stop on the guided tours.
Fes, Morocco

Automobile's are not allowed in the Medina, so mules and donkeys do the work.
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Soda Deliver - Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocci

I thought we snagged some tasty food in various medina stalls. SL was either not so impressed or habitually queasy. ;-)
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

One evening we walked towards and through the Mellah (old Jewish Quarter) where the buildings have outward facing balconies rather than inside courtyards.
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

20th-Century Post Office.
Fes, Morocco

The beautiful Jnane sbil Gardens.
Jnane sbil - Fes, Morocco

Jnane sbil - Fes, Morocco

In one residential part of the medina, the government is renovating buildings.
Fes, Morocco

Fes, Morocco

Not to mention the new "Riverwalk".
Riverwalk - Fes, Morocco

New Riverwalk - Fes, Morocco

Near the "Riverwalk" there is a souk for dying synthetic clothing; not animal skins.
Medina - Fes, Morocco

The Andalusian Mosque in the eastern part of the Medina.
Fes, Morocco

Lastly, the hotel's "included" breakfast was pretty good.
Fes, Morocco

2 comments:

Kathy said...

You skipped the tanneries? I thought they were very photogenic.

I suspect that as in India the best way to deal with the touts is to hire one. Then the rest will give up. Otherwise I found staring at the middle distance often worked, but it interferes with sightseeing.

john said...

@Kathy, Tanneries fall the wrong way on my vegetarian ethics.....Regarding touts: the thought of having a hired guide/tout with me from 8 in the morning until 8 at night seems worse than having to fend them off multiple times per day. ;-) Looking forward to chatting about tanneries and touts when we get home. -john