Fes – Morocco

Posted on December 7, 2015

I have always wanted to go and see Fes since I was a little girl and I finally got my chance.

We stayed at a campsite on the outskirts of town called Camping International. We choose it because it looked like we would be able to Jäger out easier for his walks then in the city centre!! It did turn out to be a good location to be based, it was quite and there was room on the campsite to let jäger out.

We decided not to take jäger into the city of Fes as it was a 15 min (Red Petite) taxi ride (costing 30dh = €3 one way.) We had also been told the Madina was very busy,so we left him in the van to chill out for a few hours.

We had been asked at the gate on our arrival if we wanted, “an official tour guide” to take us around Fes the next day at a cost of 300dh = €30. We declined the offer and thanked them. This took them by surprise and we were warned that we may be given a lot of hassle if we go to the Madina on our own. We told them we could handle this.

So the next morning after Jäger’s walk, we ordered a taxi from outside the campsite and went off to see the Medina and Tanneries of Fes!! I was very excited but also a little nervous after what we had been told about the hassle we may receive!!!

We asked the taxi driver to take us to the western Bab Bou Jeloud entrance (I had read this was the main entrance) We were only asked twice if we needed a tour guide at the entrance and after that we were left alone to my delight.

The Medina is one of the largest living medieval cities in the world. With narrow winding alleys and covered bazaars, that are crammed with every conceivable sort of workshops, restaurants and market. I was wonderful just wondering around watching and listening to Moroccan life!!

One of the main reasons we came to Fes was so I could see the tanneries. My grandparents had shown me pictures of them when I was a little girl and I wanted to finally see them for myself.

The techniques have not changed in centuries.

The techniques have not changed in centuries.

The tannery of Fes has changed little in centuries. Skins are still carried by donkey to the tanner’s souq, tanning and dyeing vats are still constructed from mud brick and titles. The (strictly male) tannery craftsmen and apprentices are still organised according to medieval guild principles, and their health and safety practices are also still old fashion. Among the exotic ingredients that are added to the vats you will find pigeon poo, cow urine, fish oils, animal fats and brains, chromium salts and sulphuric acids. Hmmmmm yummy!!! The smell was not very nice!! But still worth a visit!! Another one crossed off my bucket list!!

Coloured Vats

Coloured Vats

The White Vats.

The White vats.

The tannery.

The tannery.


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