Fez the Medieval Maze

We arrived in our three family minibus and parked in a dirt lot outside the gate of the old city. Fez is divided into three sections and we were staying in the oldest, Fez El Bali. This medina is the largest no car zone in the world, so we had to go the rest of the way on foot. Thankfully porters with hand carts arrived – six adults and eight kids come with a lot of baggage.

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We stayed at Riad Dar Roumana. It was exactly how I wanted a hotel in Fez to look.

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Riads are traditional family homes with rooms facing an inner courtyard. Many riads have been turned into guesthouses.

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Fez was founded in 789 and has approximately 9,000 narrow winding streets. UNESCO considers it, “one of the most extensive and best conserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world.”

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Exploring

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The narrow streets of Fez are a wonderful, colorful, crowded maze.

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Bab Boujloud is a bustling gate and a great place to dive into the medina. This green on the outside, blue on the inside gate was constructed by the French in 1913 at the location of an older 12th century gate – sections of which are still visible.

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It’s Morocco so of course there are beautiful doors!

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Medersa el-Attarine – A school and mosque founded in 1325 has some amazing architecture, carved wood and plaster work, and ceramic tiles.

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Leather Souq

We visited one of the leather shops that had a terrace overlooking the famous Chaouwara tanneries. To combat the smell we were given bundles of mint to hold under our noses while the tanning process was explained to us.

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Textile Souq

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We were shown how they weave their lovely fabrics.

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We were taught how to wrap a turban

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And then we played dress up

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Donkey on a canal bridge

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Wedding finery

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Browsing the souqs

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A rooftop restaurant with lounging room for all of us.

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Next stop Merzouga

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