FesDecember 24, 2016 in Morocco ⋅ 🌙 48 °F
Well firstly it's a bit warmer now I'm not in the mountains. It's not generally that cold at night c.9 degrees, but most traditional Moroccan places don't have heating, so it soon feels cold.
Secondly Fes is the tightest medina I've ever seen, the place is an absolute maze with loads of dead ends. It'd be rubbish to be the postman. What's really nice though is that most of the 9000+ alleys are lived in by locals. I met Dan Hui and Gabriel in the hostel and we went out one day just to get lost and see what we would find. We succeeded quite easily and tried to walk into someone's house accidentally. We got stopped by the neighbour only to be invited into their 400 year old riad with amazing carved wood and plaster work. The same day we went to the Tannery and saw the men at work dying and curing leather. It turns out that to make leather you need an ample supply of coloured piss and bird shit, and it smelt of it. I have no idea how anyone could do this all day long.
While also in Fes I realised that i had no insurance even though I had gone through at least 4 layers of checks when my ferry arrived into morocco. So I set off to get some and discovered my French is woefully inadequate, but I found the place eventually, but it was closed for lunch... for 2.5 hours. So off I went for lunch. Next thing I see is a 125cc bike going down a 3 Lane boulevard in Fes about 30 mph, but with an old lady in a wheelchair holding onto the back being towed. Unfortunately I couldn't get the camera out quick enough. I'm still puzzled to know how they handled the roundabout at the end of the road.
But the best thing about Fes was the riad I was staying at run by Youssef a very friendly guy and the guys I met there and shared some good times. Thanks to Gabriel, Dan Hui, Hillary, Andrea and Mike. It turns out that morocco attracts a different group of travelers. We spent hours playing cards and just chilling sharing stories. I also learnt a Russian card game called darjit. So stereotypically Russian, the game has no winners, but you just don't want to lose and it's based on rounds of attack and defence.
2) typical Fes street
4) a massive overlanding truck I came across. I thought I might have packed too much stuff but now I feel underprepared, especially as it had a motorbike attached to the back.
6) Gabriel surveying a huge cous cous meal after our wander around Fes.Read more