Medina (Walled City) Tour

posted Oct 27, 2010, 5:54 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 22, 2010, 10:17 AM ]
We had booked a tour through our Riad for a tour of the Medina.  I was amazed that it was only 200 dirham for all three of us; approximately 25 CDN dollars and that was for 3 hours.  A man named Edres came to collect us.  He was impeccably dressed and very distinguished looking and spoke perfect English with a lovely accent.  He toured us around for 4 ½ hours and schooled us on everything about the Moroccan people their culture, religion, food, education, bakeries you name it.  This was one of the most amazing things I have ever done.  I learned so much about their history which fascinates me.  Edres led us around this maze and there was no way that we would have ever found our way back home to Riad Fez.  If you can imagine over 320,000 people living in 500 acres with 1700 narrow roads and alleyways with two and three story walls surrounding the roads and really no signs to speak of.  And if there is then it was in Arabic.  There are 220 mosques, 220 bakeries, 220 fountains for fresh water, 220 hammans in this 1300 year old Medina, the oldest and most authentic in Morocco.  In the Souk part of the Medina it is unbelievably crowded, everyone is doing their shopping for fresh food etc.  We bought carrots and nougat – which is a colourful candy confection which has nuts in it.  Daxtin loved it but it was too sweet for me.  What I did like was the sesame seed dessert treat. 

Edres brought us to the carpet dealers and we got to experience how they are handmade by the 5 women.  They are amazingly beautiful carpets and the men must of rolled out over 30 carpets for us to view and that was 5 men doing that.  They were asking thousands for some and we bargained a bit which is part of the Moroccan culture.  These rugs are officially stamped by the government.  I cannot afford or chose not to afford one but the whole experience was very pleasant and not harassing like I here that the Turkish do things.  They even served us mint tea which is everywhere.  I am trying to get Darren to drink it because it is very good for digestion.
Edres also took us to the largest and oldest (1300s) leather tanneries in Morocco and they are quite famous and I learned about them from a picture calendar in the 90’s and have wanted to go and see them ever since and that is why I chose to go to Fez.  Our noses told us that we were coming closer to the tanneries and we were provided with a large bunch of mint to put under our nose.  The bunch of mint would cost about 5 dollars at home, but it grows in abundance here.  The tannery process is an amazing one of slaughtering goats, laying them out in the sun, to dry and then soaking them in huge pools of pigeon poop and lye to remove the fur then on to the all-natural dye pools of poppies to get the reds and saffron for the yellows etc.  Then they are dried and made into leather products.  Well I do love leather and I loved the little goats that sacrificed themselves for my pretty coats that I purchased along with the unique footstools, purse and other things.  I made a friend there, the salesman and gave him 20 CND dollars to remember me by.  I shipped it all home and hopefully it gets there, fingers crossed.