June 11 – Had a great first day in Fez. Took some time to lay by the beautiful pool at our hotel in the early part of the day. We attempted to wonder through the Medina by ourselves, but after about 20 minutes, it became very confusing, as there are not may street signs for us to follow along with the map and then if there was a sign, it was in arabic and our maps were in french. We used a tour guide later in the afternoon and we were so glad we did. He took us though what we would have thought were alleys, but they were in fact streets and led us around without a worry. The wall on the outside of the Medina is 15 kilometers in length and inside houses over 250,000 people, schools, mosques, markets, and the oldest university in the world, among many other sites. It was amazing to see how the people live here. We were told that in Morocco, you cannot tell a book by its cover, meaning that the Moroccans like to hide their possessions and all of what they have, therefore, they do not show anything on the outside of their homes. All you will see is a wooden door, but the inside is where they display everything. They do this because they do not want other people to think they are ostentatious. We saw the rug makers, went into a palace that housed a previous king, walked up about 6 flights of stairs to see the tanneries which was supposed to be a very smelly jaunt so they gave us a sprig of mint to smell under our nose if the scent got to bad. We both didn’t even use the mint as we didn’t think it smelled too bad. We have listened to the call to prayer that you can hear through out the city 5 times a day that begins at 4:15 AM and ends at 10:15PM. The World Sacred Music festival is here and it is not limited to religious music at all, there all types of music from all over the world. We are going to the festival this afternoon to check it out.
Rita & Norm