Fes (1/4)index | prev | next

Fes turned out to be a bit tricky to navigate in the dark and we drove around confusedly for nearly an hour. At some point we miraculously made our way to the hotel and proceeded to treat ourselves to the height of luxury for one of Morocco's larger cities: the Palais Jamais hotel. The hotel was once the pleasure palace of a grand vizier to the sultan in the 19th century.

Not only did this hotel have hot water, it had a pool.

The view from our room looked out over the medina in Fes. Most of the larger cities have a medina which is essentially the ancient part of the city where everything organically grew on top of and in between everything else and isn't practical for much except a maze of shopping streets with the occasional mosque.

This is what the medina looks like from the inside.

Here I got a picture of one of the mosques, into which non-Muslims are not allowed. We are, however, allowed to stand in the doorway and take pictures.

Here we are outside one entrance to the medina. Pretty fancy.

In the medina, we did some shopping. I went into a store that was selling all sorts of glassware and happened to look up. The store was one small room that extended up three stories. Above the store were balconies and it looked like people lived up there. Maybe the family of the store owner. The detail on the walls was amazing and all of this was in a tiny store that sold less than the dishes section of Bed, Bath and Beyond.

This is that same store. There happened to be one of those water fountain things in the store as well. That, the balconies above and the detail on the walls made me think that the store was once outside and they just sort of built a roof over the open space. Much of the rest of the medinas looked like they evolved in a similar way.

Later that day we went to ville nouvelle (new town) and I saw my first Moroccan graffiti.

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©2002 michael bayne  <mdb@samskivert.com>