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  • Day137

    Fes, Morocco

    September 20, 2017 in Morocco ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    We arrived in Morocco after a very long day of travel. From Spain we crossed the Strait of Gibraltar on a local ferry to Tangier in Morocco and it was bizarre because I immediately felt like I was somewhere familiar. I think being back in Africa resonated with me and made me feel like being home in a way. We drove about four hours to Fes learning about the city from our National guide Mohammed. Because the tour is a highlights tour, we only ever get two nights in the main cities so one full day. On this day, local guides took us through the Medina of Fes, the oldest souk market in Morocco and it was incredible. Everything from spices to vegetables to live chickens to camel heads to bastille pastry to kaftans to jewelry was being sold. The alleyways are tiny and it’s one huge maze lined with locals staring and trying to get you to buy something. It was pretty overwhelming for a lot of people in our group, and Nana too found it a lot to take in as this was the first third world country she’d visited, but I felt super comfortable being back in this environment. We visited a carpet factory where my bartering skills came into use and Nana managed to purchase a carpet for her new house, she’s so excited about it!! It was here that she was offered the first dowry of 10 carpets in exchange for me, I turned around and said “HA! I’m worth more than 10 carpets mate!” We then visited a local tannery, one of the oldest in Fes and saw how the take the skin from animals and use pigeon poop to clean it as the poop is very acidic. The skin is then dyed using minerals (eg. saffron for red, cobalt for blue) in these huge concrete wells and men use their legs to move the skins around. It’s a grueling process and highlights the horrible work that has to be done to get the lovely leather jacket or handbag we all want. Plus the smell was horrendous!! After a busy day exploring Old Fes, we enjoyed a beautiful dinner overlooking the city with most of the tour group. We hadn’t done an optional excursion before because they’re quite expensive but wanted to enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal with belly dancing and entertainment. It was a lovely way to end our busy day in Fes with a taste of what Morocco has to offer.Read more