A Travellerspoint blog

6. Medina Madness

don't try this without a guide

semi-overcast 78 °F

Oh, the Fez medina. I loved it. But buyer beware - the medina is like an acid trip. It is either a good trip or a bad trip depending on you. The medina is a 1200 year old downtown behind walls. The "streets" are alleys narrower than the human "wingspan". It is a huge, un-navigatable, bowl-shaped, labyrinth of three story buildings. Look up, you can see a bit of the sky, but don't depend on the sun for navigation. And don't look up for more than a second because the dirt and cobblestone paths are uneven, slippery, dirty and dangerous. You have to strike a balance between enjoying the vibrant color of the small shops and the risk of falling down. OMG, the colors. Fabrics, yarns, spices, leathers, pottery, gold, silver. . . Honestly, it's not so much that I wanted to buy it all. . . .I just wish I could own it all. My excellent roomate Kathleen summed it up. . It's like time travel.

Of course our guide guided us into some of the more tourist-worthy shops. I saw some beautiful silk bedspreads and a hot turquoise handbag, but I fell in love with, and had to buy, a giant handpainted platter. It's like 30 inches in diameter. It probably will never be used as a platter, I'll probably hang it on a wall. No, I am not able to pack it. They will ship it. You are all invited to my house for the unveiling.

I discovered that my sense of smell is far worse than I thought. We went to a tannery. The tanneries are located on the bottom most level of the medina so as not to insult delicate noses. We were actually just in the showroom, several stories above the action, but we were able to look out over the operation while we were admiring hot turquoise handbags. As we entered, they handed us sprigs of mint - a "nosegay" to hide the offending smells. I didn't need it. Remind me never to apply for a position as a wine taster.

After hours in the medina (not enough hours, but some of tbe ladies were wimping out) we returned to our riad and enjoyed cocktails on the rooftop bar. The weather has been interesting, it rained this morning at breakfast and it rained on us again at the bar. It has been relatively cool, and the rain is refreshing. Nothing stops us, we just relocate. Speaking of which, we have to leave this lovely riad tomorrow morning. They're taking me to Marrakech.

Posted by Follow Carol 15:31 Archived in Morocco

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Am enjoying your commentary--sounds like you're having a great time. How's the wine? I thought they weren't big on alcohol, but you seem to be finding it. C
always. C2

by Carol Michely

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