Sneak peak into authentic Fes

Because of our extremely short time frame in Morocco, we had to make sacrifices when it came to our itinerary and unfortunately, Fes was the city that we had to compromise with the most. We were all so excited to see the blue city of Chefchaouen so decided to dedicate two days there and only a measly 12 hours in Fes, including a night's sleep.

In hindsight, I do regret making our Fes visit so short. It was a beautiful city and definitely the most authentic Mocorran city of all the ones we visited. Instead of being more relaxed and tourist-friendly like the capital of Marrakech, we had to wear our headscarves when out about about as to not disrespect the locals. I would have loved an extra day or two to explore and really immerse myself into the culture. Not once did we come across a tourist during our time there and what made our experience so much better was that we stayed in a local's house that we had booked on Airbnb.

The Fes medina in the distance

Fes medina 

Our journey to Fes was not an easy one... As I had mentioned in my Sahara desert post, it was an eight hour cab ride in an averaged sized cab packed to the brim with seven people. In the driver's seat was our cab driver, Nesh and Payne had the privilege of sharing the front passenger seat and Morgan, Lauren and I shared the back seat with our new friend Geoff. The ride was a squishy, hot and sweaty one to say the least. Looking back, I'm honestly not sure how any of us survived that and made it out alive to tell the tale. The fact that we were experiencing the most extreme of Morocco's summer heat only made the situation more unbearable.

Finally getting to Fes was a relief but we also found ourselves in a sticky situation. With no access to wifi, we couldn't contact our Airbnb host for a while and spent a couple of hours in a state of limbo - unsure of where to go and unsure of where we actually were. Fes was definitely a city that wasn't made to be easy for new comers.

When we finally reached our Airbnb host, he guided us to our home for the night. At this moment, I realised that my travel wallet wasn't where I thought I'd left it and I began to slightly panic. I vaguely remembered throwing it in the shelf above my seat in the Sahara tour mini van as we all quickly packed our essentials, thinking it'd be safer in the locked up van than out in the vast sandy desert. 

Bab Bou Jeloud gates, leading into the Fes medina 
Walking to our Airbnb

When we reached our Airbnb and I still couldn't find my travel wallet, I began freaking out, thinking about how I'd have to cancel all my credit cards from Morocco and fearing that four Strokes tickets that I'd left in there were probably chilling somewhere in Marrakech by now! Morocco was the last place that I wanted to lost my passport so I began brainstorming ways of getting my new friends from the Sahara tour to bring it up to Fes if they were heading our way from Marrakech any time soon. Whilst I was having my little panic attack, the others got a tour of the traditional Moroccan home from our Airbnb host - something that I missed out on but luckily, I ended up finding my travel wallet! It was shoved down the side of my backpack under a pile of clothes, something I must have hastily done while packing for the desert in a rush. 

My afternoon only got better as we watched the sunset from the rooftop. The views were absolutely incredible and we could see across the whole of Fes' medina.

Views from our Airbnb rooftop

To celebrate the fact that I wouldn't be stranded in Morocco for the next three weeks while applying for an emergency passport, our group, sans Nesh, headed out to explore the town and grab dinner. Poor Nesh decided to stay in because he'd been hit by a bout of food poisoning. We spent the night exploring the local market and unlike any other market or souk we had visited in the past, this one had zero tourists in sight. I did feel a bit out of place as we got some curious looks from the locals. There was also an instance were I did feel a little bit uneasy but besides that, it was amazing to be able to experience a city that wasn't drastically transformed. 

We ended our night with a nice meal outside on the street but opted to eat from a restaurant because Nesh's run in with food poisoning had us too worried to eat the food from the market. Not only that, the food was swarming with flies which was quite the turn off...

Signs to lead us home
Local children playing outside our front door
Streetside dinner
Moroccan hospitality is well known, and for good reason. From the moment we arrived at our Airbnb, we were treated to amazing hospitality and our hosts were extremely welcome. The highlight of the trip was the Moroccan breakfast that our Airbnb host's wife cooked for us. 

I awoke the next morning to the most delicious smell and jumped straight out of bed to find a feast awaiting us on the rooftop. Sitting on the rooftop eating our delicious meal with great company and amazing views was definitely a good start to the day. I have decided that Moroccan breakfast is definitely my favourite kind of breakfast by far. Does anyone know where I can get some in Melbourne?

Homemade Moroccan breakfast 
Morning views from our Airbnb rooftop

Before heading off to our next destination Chefchaouen, I got a quick tour of the house because I missed it the night before during my oh-shit-I-think-I've-lost-my-passport-and-I'm-going-to-be-stranded-in-Morocco-forever crisis. It was really interesting being able to see the inside of a traditional Moroccan home! Boy, were the stairs narrow and steep...

Nesh's bedroom
Dining room
The narrow stairway to our bedroom
The bedroom that Morgan and I shared
The door to Lauren and Payne's bedroom
Views from the second floor
Our beautiful and talented breakfast chef
Saying goodbye to our Fes home
Our time in Fes was short and sweet. It was great to be able to experience a more authentic side to Morocco. Fes seemed like it was in a completely different world compared to Marrakech. If I could do things over, I would definitely shave a day off our Marrakech stay and dedicate an extra day to the beautiful city of Fes. Our stay was definitely too short, and it's left me itching to go back.


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