Reasons You should visit Fes, Morocco.
Myself and two other friends( Rachel and Thenjie) explored Fes and Chefchaouen, Morocco for 5 days in January 2015
Here is are a number of reasons why you should add these places onto your ‘To Visit List’ !
Fes/Fez is very similar to another of Morocco’s popular destination, Marrakech. I know this because I have visited both. Fes is just as rough and energetic as Marrakech, but Fes comes with views!! Moutains, Hiils and Dyes!!
Fes is one of the world’s oldest cities, and as you get into the marketplace, popularly called the Medina, you will see why!
It is Ancient
Where to stay
We finally made our way past security and bureau de exchange. Fez airport not much different from Marrakech’s airport.
The weather was just as expected has we had checked before we left London.
The journey to the hotel took about 20mins through lengthy roads with multiple palm trees and the odd men waving at us from their vintage vehicles.
We were let in by Idris and were pleasantly surprised by the authenticity of the hotel, a true ‘diamond in the dirt’.
Super traditional Moroccan Riad, I am talking water fountain, tea cups and silver tea kettles, colourful lounging spaces not lacking comfy pillows fully endowed in vibrant colours. Everything was rich! Do not get me wrong, this wasn’t a 5star hotel. But if once in a while, you cherish , raw authentic, rich in cultural environments environments more than marble floors, 360 showers, heated beds etc, then this is a 5 star! Undiluted Moroccan Living space , you will be neighbours with the locals.
Idris gave us some welcoming Moroccan mint tea after which we made our way into our rooms.
Eating in Fes
There are lots of restaurants and shops around
Night of our arrival, the guys managing our hotel were kind enough to take us to a restaurant nearby. We walked through the buzzing Medina and was treated to the sounds of drums and some Morrocan high life music. We were even invited into what seemed like a house party by this man. It was nice of him, we stayed for a few minutes before we escaped to the restaurant, we were starving !.
The restaurant itself had about 3 floors and a roof terrace that offered the view of Fes, but as it was dark, we sat in the warm and colourful part of the restaurant designed with stunning cushions, lamps, blankets and so on, undiluted Moroccan style!
What to do in Fez:
Climb : Borj Nord and the Merenid Tombs
Take a short taxi ride from the Medina’s Blue Gate( make sure the taxi driver uses the meter! or prepared to be thoroughly ripped off!haha) into the Borj Nord and the Merenid Tombs. This should cost your about 5 Dirhams, but be prepared to be ripped off as a tourist!
Merenid Tombs provides with you the panaramic view of the city. Its a perfect place to go and relax and spend some time. If you love mountains, such like myself, then this is your place.
Wander: Jardin Jnan Sbil
This purpose built garden is a wanderer’s dream. Walk through tons of palm trees, through to water fountains, mint tea plants, and so on.
Explore the souks for some Moroccan goods and souvernirs. You will find everything here from carpets to Argon oil. And dont be surprised if you get called names such as ; Spice girls and Will Smith family LOL
Lots of Carpets
1000’s of corners and turns
This barber shop stood out to me. Chains hang low haha
The serenity is real !
Smell: Choura Tanneries
The Tanneries are the places where Dye work takes place. You get to see the men at work, working through tons of animal skin to make all sort of leather goods.
If you cannot stomach foul spells e.g cow pee , then this is not the place for you !
The different colours represents the colours they are to be dyed to!
This is the oldest degree awarding university in the World! It was built by Fatima, a wealthy Jewish educated women who settled in Fes many years ago. The University offers courses from Mathematics and Arabic to Technology.
The structure of the Mosque itself is outstanding! It is full of large columns and exquisite floorings.
Only Muslims are allowed inside of the mosque, non-muslims are allowed to take pictures from the front gate.
****Be on the Look out for the second part of the trip : Chefchaouen, Morocco ***
Enjoy your trip!