Today is cold, but sunny. Our destination is Fes 204 km south, but we are headed first west to the coast and then back over the mountains for 354 Km.
The road is curvy and goes up along the ridge and then down again to the sea. Here the road hangs on the cliffside.
At the small town of El Jebha we had a snack and the guys headed up a track to the viewpoint to the bay hidden from view.
We stopped here for lunch. Here we made sure we found out the difference between the Men’s and Ladies!
From here you turn off onto a mountain road that until you get to Centre Commune Beni Rzine, Marruecos the road is partly paved, but crumbling and without guardrails on the corners with their precipitous drops.
We made our way thru several very remote towns that were crowded with men only. Driving thru was a bit surreal and like from a post apocalyptic movie. Not a pretty picture. We had a long day even though it was only 367 km because of the speeds and the road conditions.
Arriving in Fes luckily we had a reservation. The Touts on the mopeds who followed and harassed us did in vain. Arriving to the hotel just outside the Medina we were met by another tout who rushed into the hotel to try to get a commission for bringing us to the hotel, but the man at the desk said to him “come on buddy you have to be kidding they have a reservation.”
We wandered into the Medina to find some dinner. Almost all restaurants here have the same menu of Chicken with couscous and a traditional lamb Tagine.
We had organized thru the hotel a guide for a tour of the Medina today, but as all things here the tour includes “shopping”. We did go see some carpets and weaving and leather works, but on the way also the labyrinth of streets, several mosques, and the tannery.
Now that IS FRESH!
This is the community bakery. The locals bring their bread here and this man bakes it for him. He knows everyone by the colour of their cloth.
This is the only place in the city you can buy camel meat. He used to have a camel head on display, but there were so many tourists taking pictures he could not sell any meat.
Snails for sale!! They gather them outside the city when it rains.
They are creating the detailed decoration by hand.
You cannot enter the Mosque unless you are a Muslim.
This used to be the spice market, but now it is mostly leather and metal goods.
In the afternoon we took some candid shots from the roof terrace.
We then wandered toward the Jewish quarter thru the large public park across from the hotel. On the way we passed a building with a beautiful tiled façade. Daniel was about to take a photo when the uniformed guard started waving and shouting. He then came running after Daniel shouting. Luckily a local woman was walking by and saw all this. She explained to the guard who then looked at the pictures on the camera and saw that Daniel had not actually taken a photo. Lesson learned. They did not notice however that Orvar was taking a picture!
We continued walking and entered the next walled area of the city. Here there was a warren of streets and we all felt a bit uncomfortable when approached by a group of young men who wanted to “take us to see the synagogue”. Then we were more so when they started to follow us. Luckily we were quickly out onto a main street crowded with people and this led to the main city wall and our hotel.
The hotel on bookings offered private on site parking, but when we arrived this was actually parking on the street out front. The manager said to park on the sidewalk out front and he would have a guard 24/7. Despite this when we got out to the bikes on the second morning Daniel’s cover was partly off and someone had tried to pry off the Tourtech GPS mount and Orvar’s dry bag with rain gear and spare gloves was gone. The guard says he watched the bikes all night and was lying and/or allowed someone to steal the bag. Not a great start to the day. No one working at the hotel seemed to really care. The feeling here in Fez in general is that 95 % of the people who approach you in a friendly manner want you to give them money or more often to sell you something. This is unlike for example Brazil where 99% of people who approach you are just being friendly. It gets very tiring to be harassed all day.