The oldest of the imperial cities of Morocco. The Medina of Fès el-Bali (Old Fès) is the largest living Islamic medieval city in the world.
The Medina can be totally bewildering. Though the amount of hassle is far less than it once was, the constant attention of unofficial guides, small boys, touts and shopkeepers does not help :)). Life moves to centuries-old traditions. Donkeys and mules remain the main mode of transport and, but for the mobile phones and satellite dishes on the skyline, you could be forgiven for wondering which century you’ve accidentally slipped into.
Apart from the thousands of houses (all complete with their own satellite dishes) and the mountains, the view from a typical terrace in Fès is nearly always different. There is something new happening every moment. It could be women washing clothes, young boys feeding their pigeons or an acrobatic cat traversing across the rooftops. On the roof you can make bargaining while drinking a mint tea, you can watch the tanning markets. After jumping from a roof to another we decided to go through the tiny streets (more like alleys) – no cars are allowed but there are lots of donkeys and tons of people. You will get lost for sure!!! There are lots of different markets. People were selling so many funny things, all sorts of things.
In the Medina “Belek” you will find workers sit in small, dimly lit rooms weaving carpets, chickens are sold alive with their legs trussed together, beggars with hollowed-out eyes have their heads encased in cowls. It feels like being dragged backwards through time.
Ahh don’t forget… trying an hammam treatment, a traditional bathing ritual in which you are scrubbed with exotically scented savon noir (usually made with olive oil, and sometimes with added cedar wood, eucalyptus or cinnamon) and exfoliated until your skin is as soft as the proverbial new-born baby’s.
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