Travel Journal

Fes

(Monday 11 October 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 44-45 – 9/17-9/18/10 Fes
Laundry wasn’t dry from the last night so Julie laughed at me for laying my socks out to dry outside the station while we were waiting for our train. We stuck with 2nd class tickets and the journey was fine to Fes. There we used the guidebook to lead us through several hotel possibility. Some were full, others were rather grim. We settled on one with A/c and rather clean. Surprise, surprise a tour guide appeared while we checking in after inspecting the room. For the price of two beers, he would take us on a three to four hour tour of Fez. We agreed and made plans to meet the next morning and then went to a sidewalk restaurant to enjoy Chicken with Rice and Sheep Heads (brains included) and noodles.
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We started out at nine the next day with Ali surprisingly the same guide we met the previous day. I thought he was a leader and would pawn us off on some guide with weak English. I knew it was going to be a shopping tour and indeed we did visit a ceramic tile store, brass store, tannery, rug shop, linen store and Berber rug shop.
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We escaped with only Julie buying some leather slippers which she was planning to buy anyways. The sales pitches are relentless but as long as you smile and just keep repeating you’re not interested, you don’t like one piece more than another, they realize they are not going to make a sale and latch on to the next victim. Other than the shops, we did manage to see the Dar el-Makhzey – the king’s palace,
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Nejjamme museum of wooden arts and crafts, and many sites within the Medina such as the university and mosque. With taxi cost and tips, it was more like 200 DH but was worth it.
We stopped for Kebobs before I headed out alone to Borj Nord (the North Fort) and the Merenid Tombs for a view of the Medina at sunset. Borj also was featured on the Amazing Race which is probably why Julie skipped it as I think she is getting tired of my fixation on that show. Walking back to the Medina it was wonderful to see all the swallows filling the sky as they emerged from holes all along the wall. Catching a taxi back to the hotel from the medina was a struggle as there was too many people trying to catch a ride and they definitely knew the tricks of getting the cabs better than I. After an hour, I paid a ten year old a couple of DH to get one for me and I got back to a worried Julie who was wondering what had happened to me.
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