We started our tour of Fez with a visit to the Palace. It is located very close to the Jewish quadrant. The architecture is a mixture of Berber and Arabic with very ornate bronze doors. Below is a photo with the four people from Japan who were on the trip. We also traveled with people from Pakistan, Israel, Brazil, and Argentina as well as the United States - all of them wonderful people!
We stopped high above the city where we had a beautiful view of the medina. A river separates the east side (which was settled by the Spanish) from the west side (settled by Tunisians). Looking down, we could see the houses which were basic, but we were told by our guide about a proverb “The outside doesn’t reflect the inside.” There are sixty springs underground in the medina which provide fountains and pools inside the homes.
The medina is HUGE with approximately 9,500 streets (although some are so narrow (the width of a single person) it’s hard to consider them streets. It contains the oldest University in the World, which was founded by two women. There are churches, synagogues and mosques in Fez, resulting in a dialogue among the Abrahamic religions.
We visited a carpet store, had lunch and looked at textiles.
After winding through the streets looking at the numerous shops, we went upstairs (about five flights!) to the oldest and biggest tannery in Morocco. At the bottom of the stairs, we were each handed a sprig of mint, which was definitely needed when we reached the top and were assaulted by the smells of the tannery. The tannery makes leather products out of sheep, cow, camel and goat skin, and uses all natural pigments for the dyes. The products in the store were beautiful but expensive (I did ask for a piece of sheep leather to show my students). (one week in white tubs with cow urine and other ingredients, 5 hours in pigeon poop (it contains ammonium which softens the leather) changing the water every hour) and 25 days in the dye tubs.
We also visited a textile shop and a shop that sold beautiful gifts.
After walking miles throughout the medina, we headed by bus to the pottery factory.
After a full day, we headed back to the hotel for dinner. Adam and I decided to venture out on our own to the mall for pizza and Italian ice, and took these photos of McDonalds for Ms. Rose.
DISCLAIMER: This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the grantee's own and do not represent the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, IREX, or the U.S. Department of State.
Date Created: February 15, 2016 Date Last Updated: October 8, 2018