The first weekend that Mom and Dad were here, we went to the Imperial City of Fes. This ancient city was established around the year 800. It is a living, breathing World Heritage site. It boasts the world's oldest university (yes, even before Cambridge, Oxford, etc.), Kairaouine University (and mosque). There are 350 some mosques in the medina. The medina is divided into 'neighborhoods', and every neighborhood has a hammam (bath house), fountain, and mosque. We had an amazing tour guide, Hakim, who filled us with knowledge of Fes and this amazingly historic medina. We also toured with my good friends Jim and Luann, and friends of theirs from the Seattle area who were visiting. It was a great day, with lots of walking. I think in all, they said we probably walked close to 8 miles. We were tired and our legs felt like we walked that far, but inside those medina walls, winding through the narrow streets, it just doesn't seem that far. The medina is kind of like a big bowl, and we basically walked down to the belly of it and then back up. We were able to see this shape the next day when we went to some panoramic viewing sites on the edge of the city. While in the medina, we saw where they make scarves, blankets, etc. using the old school looms. We also went to the tannery, where they still stretch, dry, and dye the leather hides used for making all sorts of things. Learning about the amazing history of Fes along the way made it a fabulous way to start the vacation!
|Man working the loom, making a thin blanket.|
|Me knocking on the King's palace door. :)|
|Table top. Imagine laying out each of those tiles individually... wowza!|
|Large, beautiful, hand-crafted fountain.|
|View of the countryside surrounding Fes|