October 16-26, 2005
|Our tour of Fez began at Bab Bou Jeloud, the gateway to the Fez-el-Bali, the medina of Fez. A medina is simply the old part of the city. The medina of Fez contains many things!||Here are just a few of the sights of the medina. Besides mosques, mausoleums, schools, and monuments, there are literally hundreds of tiny shops of every description. People are moving in every direction on foot, and on donkey back or carts. It is an amazing warren. Our guide was the "little guy" whose name was Haj. Without his expertise we would have been lost within minutes!
||Our guide would often point out an open doorway and invite us to peer in. One of them contained this tiny schoolroom, with the young scholars learning to write verses of the Koran on their slates under the eye of two teachers.
||Turning into one of the narrow alleyways brought us to this carpet store. Of course before anything else, we were greeted with mint tea.
||In the Nejjarine Square is this beautiful fountain.
||This is the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, the founder of Fez. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside.
||The Medersa Bou Inania was a school attached to the Karaouiyne Mosque. Hassan, our tour director, was Spanish but spoke with a beautiful British accent.
||All along the walls run these beautiful Koran verses in highly stylized Arabic letters.
||One of the famous tanneries of Morocco. In order to produce the beautiful and famous Morrocan leather, it is necessary to put up with the smell of the process!
||We were told that the family that owned this brass shop was the one that had been commissioned to do the doors of the Royal Palace. They certainly displayed some beautiful work.
||In the evening we returned to the medina. Down a narrow alley and through a small door we entered into a rich merchant's former home, now transformed into a wonderful restaurant. Here we feasted on Morrocan tajines.
||After dinner there was a wonderful show, culminating in a Moroccan wedding!
This concluded the Imperial Cities part of the tour, being the section that many people get in conjunction with a tour of Spain. Tomorrow we will turn south over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara.