After a long journey, which included a three hour bus ride from Tinghir to Errachidia, a six hour stopover, then another six hour bus ride, we arrived at Fes at the ridiculous hour of 4.30am. Not wanting to venture out until daylight, we sat at the bus station’s coffee shop watching a strange 1980s Tamil movie till 6am.
At six, we caught a cab to the entrance of the old medina and tried our luck at finding somewhere to stay. We followed a promising sign that read “Riad Dar Tamo”, which lead us through a maze of alleys, knocked on a small but stately door and woke up the caretaker who was kind enough to let us in. And it turned out to be a really nice little riad too 🙂 Later that morning, we recorded the way out of the riad to the main alley, just to show you what we’re talking about. Check it out here.
The 1,400 year old medina is the largest living medieval Islamic city in the world, and the world’s largest car-free urban environment (the main mode of transport is donkey). Anyway, we thought it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e: Way cooler and prettier than the Marrakech medina, with even more winding alleys to get lost in, less tourists, more souks and stalls selling everyday items for locals. Why, even the touts are nicer here.
Due to sight-seeing overload, we didn’t feel compelled to visit the “must see” tourist attractions in the medina, but were happy to just amble along its alleyways, sample stall food or watch the world go by while we sip on mint tea.
We also walked around the new part of Fes for a bit, in search of a shopping mall someone told us about but we could not find. Still, it was a nice walk through a very cosmopolitan town. Sara thought it was just like Bukit Bintang, with many Middle eastern eateries and Middle easterns.
Tired of tagines, shish kebabs (Sara has stopped saying ‘sheesh kebab’ in Morocco, as it actually means something here!) and all that, we decided to treat ourselves to McDonalds. And it is a treat indeed, as McDonalds is quite a luxury here – a chocolate sundae, for instance costs 14 dirham (RM5) and there’s even a security guard stationed at the entrance. Anyway, we are happy to report that McDonalds burgers and fries taste exactly in Morocco as they do back home.
Oh and by the way, we saw a UFO from the rooftop of our riad one evening. Here’s the video.