Edit Blog Post
Published: June 23rd 2006
Ride to Fes
I capture a man and his camel on the road towards Fes.
The morning bus ride (9-hours in total with the CTM bus line) took me north to the legendy town of Fes. On the bus I met Adilson, a 67-year old Brazilian man who was traveling around Western Africa.
Upon arriving in Fes in the late afternoon, Adilson and I tried our luck finding accomodation in the Center Novielle area of Fes. We quickly learned that the Youth Hostel was sold out as were many of the cheap hotels. So we cabbed it over to the Medina section of Fes and found a simple room at the Cascade Hotel (once again I was looking at shared toilets and showers...but at least there was no additional charge for the shower). The hotel did feature a nice rooftop terrace which overlooked the small but busy square just inside the Bab el-Jeloud (Bab means GATE in arabic).
A bit tired from the long bus ride, Adilson and I enjoyed a cafe noir (espresso) at a nearby cafe and watched life in Fes walk by. As the cafe filled-up and a TV was turned on we realized we were about to enjoy a Barcelona football match. Afterwards we walked around the Medina, got lost
During a stop on the way to Fes, I found this food stand and wondered what was cooking in the pots. Chicken and potatos is the answer.
and ended up back at the small square in front of our hotel where we had dinner in an outside cafe. The walk around the Medina was useful as we learned that the busiest area was in front of our hotel.
We were awoken at 5am from the call to Muslim prayer....ugggh. Luckily we were both able to fall back asleep until 8 or so.
With my trusty sidekick Adilson, I walked around Fes taking in the sights: Batha Museum (which was closed for renovations), the Jewish Cemetary and even the Royal Palace. We accidently walked into the Royal Palace as I thought it was a museum and, after making it about 20 yards inside, we were yelled at by a man in nice suit and an officer with a big gun. They quickly made their way to us, grabbed my arm and starting yelling in French. I gave a "opps" look and said "Parlevous Engles?". After a few more choice French words, we were escorted out at gunpoint. Ce Las Vie. Adilson was a bit shaken up by the whole episode but I have gotten used to guys pointing guns at me. Good thing or bad?
The sign assures me that I am in the right place.
A few more hours of touring the city and it was back to a cafe for an espresso to watch life in Fes walk by (and a Real Madrid match). Then dinner...once again in the square outside our hotel (a different cafe this time).
Next day we visited the tanneries in the morning (a wild site watching men knee-deep in tanning solution), wandered around the Medina more and then over to the Novelle Center (new section of Fes) where we got transportaion tickets for the next day (Adislon got a bus ticket to go north while I got a train ticket for Meknes). A bit run down, we once again smiled as we headed to our favorite cafe for afternoon espresso.
That night I left Adilson and headed out to explore the "wild" side of Fes. First destination was a nice dinner at Le Maison de Blue. I splurged on a $45 dinner that included six courses (salads, tanjine, couscous, fruits, desert and coffee) and lots of free wine. During dinner there was entertainment of two kinds of Moroccan music. Stuffed to the gills, I was direct to the Jnan Palace for some nightclubing. There I saw the
From the rooftop of the Cascade Hotel, this is one of the gates to enter into the Medina.
more liberal side of Morocco....men and women dressed to impress: much like NYC the guys were in jeans and shirts and the girls in midrifts, lots of clevage and short skirts. Morocco is truly a land of mixtures...the old and new happily co-exist in this ancient land.
Tot: 0.076s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 8; qc: 24; dbt: 0.057s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb