If all the world were lemon drops and gum drops – oh what a world it would be ……. Our journey through Morocco is like an ancient rainbow, around every magical corner is a laneway that leads to a souk with walls that have so much character they are aged to perfection and alive with colours of yesteryear, just from being painted and painted. The result is art that is just incredible.
In Chefchaouen the town is painted all the blue shades while in the sacred town of Moulay Idriss the colours are like pickle, pistachio, fern, mint…… all the shades of green you can possibly think of.
Paint pigment is sold throughout the cute little towns, colour choice is sometimes a personal thing, and sometimes you are told what colour to paint your home, creating so much character and charm and a patina of colours ~ just stunning.
In the ancient medieval town of Feś there is lot’s of pink, red and purple – along with water fountains called Seqqaya meaning public fountain.
I want to photograph it all. I keep asking Hassan…… what some of the writing says, as some of it looks like graffiti and I don’t want to display or post photos of something in appropriate………
This beautiful pink door/wall below, was outside an ancient 17th century Jewish Synagogue, we were being sheep and waiting our turn to go inside. I just loved it.
It actually says -do not put rubbish here. Thank goodness it’s not something naughty as this is one of my favourite walls so far!
The locals drink the water from these fountains below, however tourists are encouraged to use bottled water.
We are staying on the outskirts of the ancient town of Feś, which has 3 parts and is so spread out. The old town, the new and of course the ancient Medina and souks, dating back to the 9th century.
Our Riad – Salam Fes is just next level.
The days on the bus are long, and when we arrive into these incredible Riads it becomes – what bus trip?
I have a new appreciation for tiles, and the artisans that sit and create the Moroccan style of tiles, where they hand cut the pieces, form a creation and glue it all together before sealing it with clay to create stunning pieces that are mind blowing.
They use horse hair brushes to create the pretty designs before they go in the kiln for 8 hours then get glazed and shipped to customers all over the world.
Grey clay comes from the north of Morocco and is more expensive, and watching the artisans create these bowls that someone in San Diego has ordered is mesmerising . We were told this guy makes 100 bowls a week, and the order is for 600 !! There were a few orders for Australia and 1 for San Francisco from our group at the Zellige- meaning ceramic factory!
Feś is the worlds largest living medieval town, it is also an intellectual town, filled with Universities and scholars.
Fez is an imperial city…… remember I said previously it was once a capital city.
UNESCO is spending thousands of dollars to help keep this city historical with it’s current crazy wonky lanes, some of the areas quite dark and dilapidated, but also interesting and you just wonder what has been before us.
Our walking tour takes us to the Kings Palace – built back in 14th century (I think he has a palace everywhere we go). The walled city has huge archways and all the buildings have amazing tiled exteriors and doors- of course we take loads of photos and Sydney Lisa has caved in and been in more group photos than she has her whole life!!!
It rained overnight and I said a little prayer that the sun would shine and it did, which created this warm colour through the walls.
There are so many areas to this town, that I have already mixed up my Jewish Quarters and my Kings bloody palaces……. thank goodness Lisa M is actually writing a diary.
We went to this university dating back to the 14th century, and it was a courtyard…… they all stood around and learnt ! I was too busy taking photos for all the details but I do remember there is a prayer room, where someone stands facing a Mecca wall and then it echoes so everyone can hear!
It’s just lights action and cameras at the ready. As we wander through the Souk’s and in particular the food court where we discovered fruits, herb meat stands……. camel anyone ?
None of the locals like having their photos taken, so I have been trying to teach the gals on tour how to take sneaky hand held iphone pics! So many feet and accidentally turning the phone off! It does take practice!
Feś with an S is the city and Fez with a Z is the hat!!!! Lonely Planet eat your heart out. We have the best guide in Hassan…. who loves nothing better than correcting their dialog.
The Kasbah on the hill ( Ed Sheehan should write a song) over looking Feś, is spectacular beautiful and cold! We are heading into their winter here and there is snow further south on the Mountains.
We also visit a stinky tannery creating leather, where they give you a fresh piece of mint to hold under your nose, as it absolutely reeks. Animals skins get washed, dyed and washed again and then softened in pigeon poop! All here right in the middle of this crazy Unesco town.
It’s jam packed and bat shit crazy what we cover off in a day and we only scratch the surface.
On our second night in Feś we have dinner just out of town at a private home, they welcome us all for the evening meal, before we watch 2 DVD’s of family weddings to give us an insight, before we all dress up in the gowns that guests wear to the wedding where the bride changes her out for 7 times in 1 day!!
I can’t even type right now I’m so overwhelmed – in fact we all are … as we also visited a loom store, a stitching hand craft store and generally had a blast.
Thanks to Hassan our beautiful guide for waiting for us at the next corner, before turning so we don’t get lost, finding us clean toilets and ordering our coffee or tea just they way we individually like it.
Ahhh Feś you have been amazing and we have only scratched the surface, I’m sure one day we will return, to amble through laneways and take more photos even though the locals don’t like us to, eat your nougat and sample some more of the most amazing food I’ve ever eaten. I’m just still not sure about the camel head hanging in the market place ……
Anyway I’m off to find my camera charger because we are off to the Sahara Desert next and I can’t wait ??
Mrs W xx
Ps here is a photo of me doing what I do….. taking multiple photos on multiple cameras and how I got my wonky name.