WOW!! What a wonderful day again. We had a chance to stay in bed until 8AM this morning and then we were off again.
Today we were off to the Fes Medina. This the largest old medina in the world. 9500 alleyways. And you can get lost in any one of them. We entered through the Boujeloud Gates (Blue Gates). We saw vegetables, fresh meat being cut (goat heads included) live chickens; some of the 400 variety of dates that are grown in Morocco, olives, goat cheese, Rose Water items, and then went into the artisan quarter to see the tinsmiths working on the brass and bronze ware. This was our first shopping stop of the day. The group bought bronze plates, teapots, bowls and items that were decorated with Alpaca (Pewter).
Once we were finally finished, we went to find an ATM machine. There are only a few types that will take the Canadian debit cards. You need to look for BMCE bank. Once we all had money again, we went back to the bus to go to a different entrance into the Medina.
We visited the Jamaa Al-Karouine – the world’s oldest established university. We were able to peek into the Main courtyard as it closes for lunch and it was right on noon. We also were able to see a Medersa (a Koranic School). The different Motifs were explained to us and the fact that there are no images, just motifs on the walls.
We then went to the “stinkiest” place on earth – the tanneries. The reason there is such a foul smell is the fact they use Pigeon Poop to help with the tanning process, the acid in the poop helps to soften the leather. Once again there were many purchases made. This was followed by lunch.
Off to the fabric store to see how the fabric is woven on Kilims and made into various types of cloth for different purposes. There were scarfs, shawls, tablecloths, bedcovers, dresses, Jdelabas, Fezes and much more. Again we did a great job of helping the local economy.
One last stop before we headed back to the hotel and the awaiting pool. We had a panoramic view of Fes. Beautiful to see and very spread out. The River of Pearls divides the city into old Fes on the right bank and old Fes on the left bank.
We had a great time at dinner with everyone trying on their new purchases. Tomorrow we are off to the desert and our camel rides and overnight camp.