775. Morocco Part 2 | Exploring Fes Medina

Fes tannery

The Fes medina can be quite an intimidating place if you are a newly arrived tourist. Hiring a guide is necessary to find your way around, are perhaps more importantly - to avoid being bothered too much by locals and getting scammed. With all the streets and alleyways, it is inevitable to get lost and locals always try to offer help/pretty much insist on it..then demand a fee.

The first day we hired a very nice official guide to bring us around for about 6 hours. Most of the photos in my next posts will be during that day, since it was the only time I felt safe taking out my camera lol. But even then, I couldn't take photos of everything that I wanted to as I know some locals don't like appearing in photos. Most times I had to do it discreetly which results in blurry shots. We didn't get bothered as much when locals saw that we were with the guide. One thing I realized is that all the "older" (~50 years+) people are very nice and generally honest. The ones you have to be careful about are the younger ones and children (following very closely asking for money or trying to pickpocket). You also need to be careful at restaurants as some places have a "tourist" menu that they give unsuspecting tourists which lists much higher prices. We already experienced all these things which I'll talk about more soon.

After several days here, we are slowly adapting and learning more about life here. There's many things that are different from what we are used to (how to take taxis, buying fruits, etc.)

So on the first day when we had our guide, he brought us all around the main parts of the medina including the oldest/largest/most popular leather tannery in Morocco called the Chouara Tannery (pic above). Different leather shops surround it and you have to go in one, to the rooftop, to see the view. Then as you leave they always try to get you to buy something. When I researched the tannery before our trip, people all complained about the smell. Apparently they give you some mint leaves to smell to make it more bearable. We didn't get offered this and weirdly enough, I found the smell super mild and had no problem with it at all lol.

Morocco breakfast Fes

We have a housekeeper here who comes in to clean the riad/house a couple times a week and makes us meals upon request. We asked for breakfast the first morning and have asked for it every morning since. It's laid out on the rooftop terrace and consists of fruit salad, yogurt, eggs, and delicious bread (so far a different type each day which I think is all made from scratch). My favourite is the fruits and bread.

Morocco breakfast breakfast in Morocco Fes Medina Fes medina Fes medina Fes medina Fes medina
At times it can feel like a different time period

Fes tannery Fes tannery leftbanked despacito fes Fes Medina Fes medina donkeys Fes medina Fes medina Fes medina cat Fes real estate office

This is a real estate office. I found it interesting they don't show any photos of the available properties but I guess that is not a major selling point as it is in other cities. They just describe to you what is available.

Fes Medina view public toilets Fes

I was surprised to see public toilets in the medina and more surprised to see they are this nice and clean. They are actually better than restaurant/cafe toilets I've seen so far. In the few restaurants we've visited, I haven't been able to use the toilets because of how bad/dirty they looked/smelled.

Fes Medina Fes riad Christmas tree riad
We will have a Christmas tree this year! I really didn't think we'd have anything Christmas-y at all, celebrating it in Morocco. Our housekeeper set it up this morning.

Fes cat


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