~ Morocco - Fes 2015 ~

Sunday, September 18, 2016
My short stay in Fes was magical but much too short. I had an amazing time exploring the city and the goodies it had to offer.

I had written a lot of extensive notes into my phone while I was on the trip but unfortunately my phone screen had shattered (when I got home, not on the trip) which required me to get a new phone. So sadly all the information is lost. I'm writing now from just the hazy memory of what I remember I learned while I was there.

I had asked the stall owner for permission to take this photo of his lovely store. The variety of colours is amazing and I'm sure you've noticed that olives are very, very popular here.

A peek at my camel burger! We had this at a small local shop that split up into two stores, one across from the other. When we arrived there were two local gentlemen finishing up their meal and once they did they washed their hands in a small sink that jutted out into the dining area. 

Another shop with gorgeous goodies. If you look a bit to the left, the store next to it are snacks that are smothered in honey. There were many of these stores around and bees absolutely flocked to them! Luckily they are so enticed by the honeyed goods that they take no interest in people. From memory these snacks might have had some relation to Ramadan that was happening during the time I was there.

One of the main highlights of this day was visiting the leather tannery. Yes, it is the one you see plastered all over postcards and is often one of the iconic images of Morocco. The shop/tannery was fairly large, there were several balconies from which you can see the dye vats and we also had guides that explained the process and what goes into making the leather goods which are available in the store.

I must say that the smell was unbearable for some. Before you go in, you will be handed mint leaves to help with the smell while you're inside. Some of our group had to leave because they couldn't handle the smell.

The store offered a large array of leather goods from shoes to bags to belts to wallets and so on. I didn't buy anything but in hindsight I wish I did. There were some adorable air pillows that can also flatten out to be stored. Since I had only traveled with carry on luggage I didn't put much thought into making larger purchases (which I eventually did and thus I wish I had bought it regardless, lesson learned).

Afterwards we visited a beautiful store selling bronze products among other intricate things. There was a person there working away at a very large bronze plate, hammering in patterns and the store owner gave us a detailed description of the history of his shop as well as how the products are made.

At this point in the day I caved and started to shop. I bought a beautiful silver plated teapot and an intricate silver plate for it to sit upon. The teapots had two different styles, one is flat on the bottom so that it can be used on flat top stoves while the other is "camel" style, that have feet and are suited for gas stoves and open flames. I loved the look of the camel feet more but eventually chose the flat bottom one as I don't have a gas stove at home but in hindsight I could've just boiled water and poured it in. While I do really like the one I have now I definitely regret not getting the camel style one!

We spent quite a bit of time in this store as nearly everyone in my small group had bought something. Prices were in Euros but negotiable and they accepted credit cards as well.

.The medinas can be very busy with open shops and people bustling everywhere and other times it goes quite. There are small hallways that may be only about a foot in width and you are walking alongside mud brick walls and dirt paths but only to turn a corner or into an unsuspecting doorway and enter to see something like this.

Photos could not show all the gorgeous detailing of this building which was open to the beautiful blue sky and sunbeams. 

We visited a handful of carpet/rug stores and I always had a fun time looking at the goodies. The sales people were not overly pushy but I had to mentally talk myself out of  buying anything. At the end of the trip I came home with two rugs that are still rolled up as I have not had a use for them yet BUT there are no regrets in buying them (okay maybe for one I have an inkling of buyers remorse).

I really loved this small table in the photo above and if I could go back, I would try to order one home for myself! Also in the top of the photo you can see some of the rugs that the owner has laid out on display for us to see.

At this viewpoint we were told to notice how quiet and uninhabited the city looked.The hustle and bustle of the city lives within the small streets, the medinas, homes, schools, mosques, and the rest of the labyrinth that is the city. I really loved this contradiction of the view and the vibrant city that it held.