Wandering the souqs of Fes
Fez Travel Blog› entry 17 of 88 › view all entries
We spent a very very long day walking through and exploring the ancient 9400 twisting and turning lanes of ancient Fes. It was incredible...I felt as though I stepped through a time warp back into the 9th century.
We started off by driving to the top of a moutain overlooking the ancient city for some pictures and to grasp the size of it. It looks so peaceful from above but is absolutely not! It is a flurry of constant activity... as I soon found out.
Our next stop was at a mosais tile and pottery house. We originally thought it was on fire but found out that the black smoke was actually from the olive paste that they use to burn to fire the clay. We walked through and saw the entire process....Tamie, you would have loved it.
Next, we entered the old medina and began our way through the labyrinth of people and donkeys. It was crazy. All of the 350 000 people that live there are squished into a tiny area built up. The bottom area is filled with souqs selling leather, silk, meats, nuts, spices, clothing....everything you can imagine. Everything is made the traditional way. There are no cars in the medina but quite often we had to put our backs to the wall to avoid being stepped on by donkeys passing through carrying meats, leather, etc.
Quite often and regularly you can hear what sounds like an alarm over top the city. Its not an alarm though. Its the sound of Islamic prayer over the intercom into the streets with voices chanting and singing in prayer.
I am glad to be in a group. On a regular basis, men will blatantly stare or call out various things (which Im happy not to understand most times) as I pass. Sometimes, they just stare and say Ca va which means How are you. They dont actually come up to me which is good. Ive heard that in Egypt it is far worse for that sort of thing. I dress very conservatively all the time despite the heat to respect their customs. Women who do not are just asking to be harassed here. Today while walking down the street, a guy started yelling out to let mle know that he has two camels....apparently that is very impressive here. We were laughing about that one just because it was so culturally different from home.
The people on my tour are very nice. Mostly couples and a few single female travellers. I am enjoying getting to know everyone. Morocco has been great so far....definately an experience of a lifetime! The food is great and despite all the catcalls the people are quite friendly and smiling and honest here.