Saturday, April 29, 2017


A tour of the medina in Fes, Morocco - April 20th

Upon arriving in Fes we arranged a tour of the medina. We had read that it was the best way to see it. The medina is a large old town full of narrow twisting "streets" with many dead ends. There are no signs directing you where to go and with so many people you don't have the opportunity to stop and try to guess what direction you might want to go. Our guide was ok, but we had to endure sales pitches at every craft co-op we visited. Most stops were informative and the sales pitch not to bad, but by the end of the day we were burned out.

Looking down on the Fes medina from a panoramic overlook.

The Bab Boujloud, the blue gate, is the main gate into the medina.
The first place we visited was a Moroccan mosaic and pottery co-op. We were met by an employee who gave us a tour of the co-op. After the tour he took us into the shop and was available to help you buy. The tour was informative and he did not try hard to sell things.

A potter turning lids for large vases.

A woman painting pottery. Every piece made at the co-op is hand painted.

All paint colors are hand mixed using natural pigments.

Mosaics are made by chipping wholes tiles which are made on site. The little bits on the ground next to the man are precisely shaped pieces to complete a mosaic design.

 This man is creating a mosaic table top. It takes a couple of days and is created upside down without a pattern. When the bits are all in place , they pour cement over the design to hold the tile bits in place.
Samples of what is produced at the co-op.

 View of the medina.

 A street with food sellers.

Berries for sale.

Man weaving fabric from silk and cactus threads.

The tannery - people bring their camel, goat, and sheep hides in and process them.
Goat head. There were lots of animal heads throughout the food market area. This one was in the tannery. 

 More street market scenes.

A narrow street. We passed through streets like this to get to shops our guide took us to. 

Lunch stop. We had 3 members on our tour - me, Bill, and Jessica. She has an excellent blog Comfort is for Wimps.

Kairaouine Mosque - The minaret dates back to 956 and is in the world's oldest university.

 View of inside the Kairaouine Mosque.
View of the interior of Al Qarawiyyin Mosque
 A closer look at the walls inside the mosque.

 An even closer look at the mosaic on the walls. 

 Our guide for the day. We would not have been able to navigate the medina without him, but got tired of continual sales pitches by the shops we visited.

Doorway in the medina.

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