Morocco: Old Town Medina Fes el-Bali

‘Medina in Fez is like a labyrinth’. This is the first phrase I heard regarding the old town, even though it can be proud of being country’s cultural and spiritual centre, and having the oldest university in the world. So there we went, me and my friend Brayan, to explore so called – maze, equipped with a paper and electronic map in phone, knowledge of the multiple gates as the reference points in case of being lost, some dirhams as the kids tend to guide the confused travellers to their destination for a small reward, and loads of curiosity about the lifestyle of people in Fez.

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Glad that I could enter this mosque as often non-Muslims are not allowed.

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Very fine hand-work.

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Love arabic shapes and structures.

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A small souvenir to take home.

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Riad, which means a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. View from the third floor to the main lobby of our accommodation.

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The city is famous for it’s leather tanneries which create distinct traditional character. All the process is done manually where men treat the skins in numerous stone vessels filled with a vast range of liquids and dyes. The procedure has barely changed since medieval times so it was extraordinary to explore the place.

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Right next a shop of leather crafts.

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Located behind a high wall, the old town has narrow, car-free pass ways where hundreds of merchants and craftsmen sell a range of products such as vegetables and fruits, fish, spices, local sweets, copper urns, carpets, clothes and musical instruments.

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Wish to cook some lunch? No worries, even though summers experience crazy heat, it is easy to get fresh meat as the chicken is ‘prepared’ in front of your eyes. You just have to choose the right candidate from the back shelves.

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Waiting for some hungry customers.

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Spicing up life.

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Trying the local Moroccan soup of lamb, chickpeas, noodles and tomatoes.

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Lonely side street in Medina.

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There is a common saying in Latvian that often a shoe-man does not have shoes and a sewer clothes… definitely not the case this time as we found a sewer having a handsome suit and creating some fine work with help of assistant.

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Sleeve of a dress, very well done.

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Thanks to our lovely CouchSurfing host Leyla we did not get lost even in the narrowest streets of Medina. The next stop within Morocco: desert right next to the small village of Merzouga, so stay tuned.

– Happy travels,
Ruta

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