Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Morocco for the week? Yes Please

The Medina

After discovering no-frills airline RyanAir offered flights from Seville, Spain to Morocco for only 16 euros, Melissa and I decided we could not pass this up and we jumped on a flight to Fez...UNESCO protected and home to a very old, large, car free Medina that has functioned in much the same way for hundreds of years.  It was incredibly overwhelming, in almost everyway, good and bad.  The Medina is a labyrinth of alleys and small passageways, covered and open...on the main routes souqs dominate with touts attempting to sell you any number of goods with leather work and ceramics a specialty, on the passageways and smaller alleyways there are shops but mostly its homes, which are more like slums.  In many of these areas the hygeniene is not great and the smells can be pungent - the donkeys which are used to haul goods everywhere also contribute to this.
Often gritty exterioirs house amazing insides with courtyards that are so incredibly beautiful.  It was like nothing I have ever seen before.  Basically, its is pretty much what you would expect from a ridiculously old bazaar in Muslim Africa where there are no cars only mopeds and donkeys...overwhelming.  We spent about half our days wandering the Medina, and by the end were relatively comfortable in such a completely foreign setting...the other half we spent lounging by the beautiful pool at our ridiculously nice hotel...have to love expedia.  Feels pretty, pretty amazing to relax in luxury after a number of weeks of roughing it.

Interior of a gritty building in the Medina

Photos from here.

2 comments:

Camille Lewis said...

how cool! way to be spontaneous.

One of the couples we were traveling with while we were over there just went to Morocco... and their explanation sounds a lot like yours. I think they used the phrase "sensory overload." Keep the stories coming!

Jeff said...

Wow Kim. This sounds amazing. Which smelled better, Fez or mass transit in L.A.?
The interior courtyard picture blew my mind with it's simple, elegant beauty.