Home stretch at Fes el-Bali


It’s my seventh day in the Kingdom of Morocco. My homestretch, it’s hard to say goodbye to a place that gave me fond memories. I also cannot forgive myself if I won’t be able to try the Moroccan hammam.

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Moroccan souks showcasing original designs.
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Cactus fibers makes good fabrics.
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This is argan, source of the famous argan oils.
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Succulent dates at one of the shops in Fes el-Badi.

So I woke up early to visit a hammam near the Blue Gate. I resist the temptation of using the thousand old alleyways of Fez, rather I took a taxi for 10 dirhams to the Blue Gate. The hammam is good, but between the Thai, Berber and Swedish massage I still have strong preference on the later.

On this last day, I choose to have a guided tour on the planet’s biggest living Islamic medieval city. I don’t have time to get lost anymore and I want my last day to be as smooth as possible.

Funky Fes Hostel, the riad where I stayed, offers a decent guided tour. We started a vantage point where the Kiraouine University, 1150 year old university, and Mosque. For non-Muslims like me, this glimpse is one of the closest I can for this mosque and university.

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The 1150 year old Kiraouine Mosque (white tower) and Medersa el-Attarine (green pyramidal roof).
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A glimpse of the Kiraouine Mosque.
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Medersa el-Attarine with my fellow travelers from Spain and our guide, he’s a good photographer.
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This will be your savior at the tanneries.
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Chaouwara Tanneries inside the walls of Fes el-Badi is a fusion color and smell.

Deep in the medina, we explored the winding streets and stopped at some interesting shops. In this trip the Medersa el-Attarine and the tanneries were two of the most significant sights I’ve seen in this day trip. The medersa was founded by Abu Said in the 14th century with same intricate designs and onyx columns. The tanneries of Fez, on the other hand is Morocco’s most iconic and smelly attraction. Not to worry, gas masks will be provided! The smell of the tanneries came from the pigeon droppings that were used to soften the leathers before they get dyed. So imagine pops, mixed with water in an open pit, that’s the smell. But the experience will always be worthwhile so don’t back down.

Planning a trip to Morocco? You might also like some of my post on this lovely kingdom! Please check the link below:

Touchdown Marrakesh: My gateway to Africa

Fes el-Jdid on a Friday

Across Middle Atlas to Fez

Maghreb in Microcosm: Meknes and Volubilis

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