23.09.2015 - 23.09.2015 32 °C
Today was spent walking around Fes, which was the capital city at some stage but it changed after the French occupied Morocco in 1912. After a quick breakfast, the group headed out with Moh to meet a local guide whoshowed us around the sights of old Fes. We started at the Royal Palace and walked through the old Jewish district (Mello) before heading to the pottery factory, where they make mosaics, tagines, bowls and vases. The creations are beautiful, with each mosaic tile chiselled into shape by hand before being chiseled, face down, into a beautiful pattern.
We then headed to one of the mountain fortresses where we had a panoramic view of the entire area of Fes and the two mountains ranges surrounding the big city. At the forefront of the landscape was the Medina, an extremely old section of Fes, with so many tiny twisted lanes and turns that even the locals can get lost. It is full of homes, beggars, children and of course, stray cats.
The celebration of Eid Al Adha, which is a huge celebration in the Islamic faith that celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son but then sacrificed the lamb, is tomorrow so there are rams everywhere. Every second person down the street has a ram on either a cart, motorbike, donkey or in their car. The lambs will be sacrificed tomorrow and the day is treated like Christmas is for Christians. Due to the celebration, the town was extremely busy, as everyone is buying last minute things before the shops close. We were lucky enough to witness a bunch of young men and boys riding horses through the streets singing songs to Allah.
Whilst in the Medina we had lunch in a beautiful restaurant full of mosaics and rich fabrics before heading into a small, partially covered courtyard where a local family made scarves using old methods. We were given scarves to try on and shown how to wrap them around our heads in the various ways used in the desert. We then headed for the famous tannery, where leathers are dyed and stretched to create beautiful bags, jackets, ottomans and backpacks. Unfortunately, due to the celebration tomorrow, the tannery wasn't in use so there were no dyes within the many large 'buckets', nor any workers stomping on and stretching the leather.
We headed home after the tannery, walked to the mall to buy groceries for lunch tomorrow (as nothing will be open) had dinner and now we're off to bed!