Fes, the ancient holy city of Islam
Fez Travel Blog› entry 16 of 88 › view all entries
Today, we woke up early to visit the Hasaan II mosque in Casablanca. We first had to hail a taxi and he navigated us through the craziness of the streets. It is intense here....there are cars and people and often donkeys all over the road in every direction...I feel as though Ive arrived on a different planet. The mosque is very beautiful. It is enormous and it the only mosque in Morocco that nonMuslims are allowed to enter. The entire mosque is enormous and rests partly on the ocean. There is intricate tiling and marble and carved cedar wood everywhere. It is quite a site. Unfortunately, pictures dont quite do it justice. It is interesting to learn so much about the Islamic faith here.
Everyone here speaks French and Arabic and often a combination of both. It is nice because I am getting to practise my French here. It is nice to have an understanding of the language.
After the mosque, we caught a train to the ancient holy Islamic city of Fes. It took about 4 and a half hours but went by fairly quickly as it was airconditioned and I was visiting quite a bit with the people on my tour. Everyone is super nice!
After arriving in Fes, we dropped off our stuff at the hotel which is quite nice and headed off for an hour long walk to the old Medina to get some supper. The city is split into different sections. We are staying in the Nouvelle ville which is the new French built area of Fes with wide streets and lots of cars.
Wandering through the local souqs is like taking a step back into the Middle Ages, as the locals go about their work the same way they would have done 1200 years ago. The clanging of the copper smiths, the powerful ‘aroma’ of the tanneries, bundles of colourful yarn hanging in the dyers souq, children carrying trays of bread balanced neatly on their heads and the cries of ‘balak, balak!’ or ‘attention’ which send you scrambling to hug the walls, well out of the way of heavily laden mules.
We walked to a fantastice little restaurant perched overtop the medina and has some local cuisine. Yum...I heart couscous! A little kitten kept coming around to visit...it was a nice day. I just cant believe how different it is here!