We actually arrived in Fes the prior evening, where the drinking really commenced! Yes, you can get alcohol in Morocco, even though technically it is illegal not to mention against the Islamic faith, especially during Ramadan. Once again after a quick stop at the hotel to check-in and freshen up, we grabbed some Petit Taxis and headed to the Palais Jamais (Hotel Sofitel) for pre-dinner drinks. A six course dinner followed at a awesome restaurant near the hotel, which made me regret eating so many olives with my drink. Small plates of vegetables, tajines, fruits, bread, and I'm sure couscous was in there somewhere as well. Oh, and wine. Lots and lots of wine. One table in particular was getting a wee bit goofy. I just would like to say that since we had visited Roman ruins earlier that day and, well, "when in Rome.
Dinner in fes.
.." Though, thankfully, as far as I know, no one had to use the vomitorium.
After dinner, most of the group retired for the evening. But six hearty souls, Siva, Nindhi, Mel, Erin, Carolyn and myself decided to head out for "one more." George wanted to come too but Cheryl said no. :) However, one more was a bit hard to find. Though most of the hotels had bars to cater to us alcoholic westerners, being that it was the day after Ramadan ended and good muslims were visiting family, it was hard to find a place. But find a place we did. Heck, they opened the bar for us! Such a friendly country Morocco.
The next day, some of us slightly hungover, we met our guide for the day. Unfortunately her name escapes me, but she was wonderful and was even written up in the Lonely Planet guide to Morocco.
In the medina.
A side note about tourism in Morocco. Erin was our tour leader but not our guide. Guides had to be hired locally. Erin could actually be arrested if it were to look as if she were "guiding us." Anyway, though we didn't have to take the guided tour, it was good that we did for Fes is home to the largest medina in Morocco, ten thousand streets and alleyways. And donkeys. And lots and lots of people. In other words, had I gotten separated from the group, I might still be there trying to find my way out amongst the spices, fruit stands, camel meat (and heads!), and last, but certainly not least, CARPET SELLERS! Seriously, those carpet sellers are harsh. We got trapped for two hours in a carpet shop, which was a part of the tour. Pour Nindhi and Siva got singled out (sorry, guys, we didn't mean to all look at you when he asked if anyone was interested!) but somehow escaped without making a purchase, which was a miracle in and of itself.
Our carpet salesman.
These guys are worse than the used car salesmen here in the states! Luckily I made my carpet purchase in Meknes
so had a ready excuse. So after another three or so hours of wandering the medina visiting other various souks, we all had about enough and as amazing as Fes is, I think by this point we were all on sensory overload. Dinner tonight was on our own so Mara and I decided to brave the street vendor across from the hotel, which served a curried potato mash stuffed into some french bread. It was one of the best meals we had in Morocco. Seriously. Plus it was a free for all just getting served because their was no line, just a bunch of men yelling and holding out their money until someone took their order. Mara and I were the only women there and I found out later from a Chicago cab-driver that Moroccan women are rarely seen eating at the street stalls, especially in the evening. We slept like logs that night.