Blogs from Fes, Fès-Boulemane, Morocco, Africa

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Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes January 25th 2020

Departure 1 When making a to-do list for an upcoming trip, I work backward. I imagine my return. Cats alive? (Buy cat food.) Electricity on? (Pay bills.) At least a pot's-worth of coffee? (Buy beans.) The hardest part of making travel arrangements is getting to and from airports. It's easier to get from San Francisco to Fes than getting from home to SFO. Jennifer, my travel companion, spent an evening searching through options to get from Newark to her connecting flight from JFK to Austin. In the end, it was cheaper to simply abandon the JFK ticket and buy a new ticket from Newark to Austin. Also, the friendly skies aren't so friendly anymore. I used to look at my itinerary with a sense of satisfaction, a completed jigsaw puzzle with every piece neatly locked into ... read more
Jawa on Duty
roofscape
Escher-eseque

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes January 22nd 2020

22.01.2020 FES After spending a free day exploring Chefchaouen, we moved on to Fes yesterday, and we are here for 2 nights. On the way we stopped at the ancient city of Volubilis, which covers a 42 hectare area. The then capital was founded in the 3rd century BC!!! The city was extremely well preserved until the Lisbon earthquake in 1755, when it was pretty much flattened. We stopped in Meknes for lunch. Shane has developed more than a liking for moroccon tacos. Hamid now asks every day, " Shane (pronounced Shine) my friend, what would you like for your lunch today? More tacos?" . " Sounds good", says Shine.😁 Then its a whirlwind tour of the city, including the granery which used to hold up to 20 years worth of grain, and the royal stables ... read more
Volubilis
Volubilis
Meknes

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes January 14th 2020

Leaving the remarkable ruins of Volubilis behind us, thoughts about what we had just seen in the historic Roman city still rambled around in our brains but it was time to move on. Driving in an easterly direction, our destination was the city of Fes, once the capital of Morocco and an important trade crossroads. So far the landscape had been rather bland and sparsely populated with only a few unremarkable buildings and houses making an appearance. The most interesting sights for me were several huge stork nests perched atop spindly electricity/phone poles near small buildings.They were a nice surprise. Only 20 miles from Fes, the geographical monotony was broken when we unexpectedly saw a lake peeking out of the nearby valley with the Middle Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. Near the far end, the sky-blue ... read more
Riad Salam Fes
Riad Salam Fes

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 30th 2019

Happy Anniversary to us. Sleep in till quite late because we can and because Lee is recovering from a bout of tummy upsetness which is not a word but something all travellers know about. It was a concern a few days back when it would have been tough to travel and we had 6 hours on the train but now at least it’s sort of OK and should not stop us having an small anniversary dinner tonight (that’s a small dinner not small anniversary) nor travelling tomorrow. We have the trip back to Kénitra, the change of trains and back to Tangiers. Whilst we walked up to the Blue Gate today our riad flowered our room, left little notes wishing us the best and placed a gift on our bed. It’s a lovely small ceramic container ... read more
Door to the uni, opened in the 12th century. Correct, the uni not that door.
Watermelons.

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 29th 2019

Feasting in Fes. First feast breakfast. Then it’s feasting for the senses as we negotiate the souks. Then it’s feasting time after I prepare our tajine chicken, smoked eggplant and tomato salad and our dessert of orange, orange blossom, cinnamon and mint. No surprise at our Moroccan breakfast, again deluged with fruit, yoghurt and small buns that I spread with goat cheese, honey or jams. Lee has an omelet that looked good and is significantly better for her than attempting to eat around the wheat based products. Our breakfast was bought to us in the courtyard which curtailed the number of glasses of juice I consumed but if that’s my biggest grumble things are still more than good. It was a very leisurely start as we weren’t at breakfast until about 9 o’clock and not finished ... read more
We’re in.
And in deeper.
Saved by a familiar feature that’s actually on a map.

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 28th 2019

We are on the train and heading towards Fes. No wifi which is not a surprise but the air conditioning is working which is equally surprising. Most reviews you read of Moroccan rail are not that glowing or positive whereas we would say they are fine. Their system of numbering trains, then carriages then seats is intuitive and functional. They have so far been very punctual and the staff are helpful. We travel first class in Morocco although the difference does not appear to be that great, perhaps the air conditioner does not function as well there! There is a basic trolley cart service for water, drinks and snacks but we are travelling with cold water and even a couple of small bottles that our hotel gave us as they realised we were travelling by rail ... read more
Hello station at Marrakech.
One of those is our train.
Something. (I can’t see the photo).

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes September 20th 2019

It's been all go go go since I left Tobago.. It can't be only 2 weeks ago! Toronto followed by Marrakech and now Fes. In transit Montreal I left a precious bracelet in the security bin, but I'm hoping it's in the lost and found on my return. I'll start right where I am now - Fes or Fez the very ancient spiritual capital of Morocco. Traveling with friends Robert and Fitz who initiated the trip. For me this is a very new experience to be moving at a pace set by others. I'm letting go in practice. We arrived in Fes after a comfortable but 6+hours long train journey from Marrakech past neat rows of olive trees and orchards of oranges and pomegranates and cactus plants. Olives are widely eaten throughout Morocco, and everywhere there ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes April 6th 2019

There is no queue at the gate of patience ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northeast from Meknes to Fes. It was a wet afternoon in Meknes. Heavy rain fell from dark clouds shrouding the city, and a bitter wind swept the empty streets. We emerged from the medina and sheltered as best we could in the shadows of Bab el-Mansour (the city’s iconic gateway) until a taxi arrived. We jumped in, dropped by the hotel where we’d left our packs a few hours earlier and headed to the Meknes train station – we were about to embark on a one-hour train journey to Fes. Moroccan train travel is unbridled and anarchic, and you get to experience the gamut of Moroccan life in the cramped and chaotic confines of your designated carriage. We’d ... read more
pastilla (chicken pie with icing sugar)
royal palace
royal palace

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes February 8th 2019

We meet our local guide for Fes, Kamal, with Aziz at 930am. We couldn’t start any earlier as our freshly baked baguettes for breakfast were not arriving till 845am. They were worth waiting for though! We assume everything starts a bit late in Morocco because the sunrise is late and it is freezing early in the morning. Don't come to Morocco at this time of year without warm clothing, and be prepared to have your skin dried out in the bone dry air. After about five minutes twisting and turning down alleys we arrive at a stout wooden gateway. Inside is a magical garden, part of a riad that is now owned by a Frenchman, and is run as a hotel. In here you really could be somewhere in the south of France. Then it's off ... read more
Ladies out shopping
Side door to tomb of Moulay Idris
Nursery school

Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes February 7th 2019

Off to Fes today. Our drive takes us across the plain between the High and Mid Atlas ranges then over the Mid Atlas to another plain. As we climb up into the Mid Atlas, the scenery changes yet again. It’s still very arid, but no longer wholly devoid of vegetation, with small low scrubby bushes scattered across stony soil. The Mid Atlas range is volcanic, and the rocks are less red. As we gain altitude, the ground is covered with frost and there are patches of snow. We drive through what look like Alpine valleys, covered in frost. It’s hard to believe that in a couple of months they will be a sea of green. Here and there we can see small mud brick buildings of one or at most two rooms, barely big enough to ... read more
Valley in the Mid Atlas
Nomad's winter home, Mid Atlas
Barbary macaque




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