Tuesday, July 18, 2017

the yellows of fès

Somehow I thought lugging my eighth month swollen belly around a medieval city under the bright North African sun was something that I would enjoy— and I did, mostly. I say mostly because after a morning of sightseeing my feet and ankles had swollen to an uncomfortable degree, and the heat had me nearly seeing stars. We had been saving the large, popular tourist cities like Fès and Marrakech for when we had visitors, and with Pedro's family in town at the time, Fès became our first stop.

Apparently the medina of Fès is the largest pedestrianized urban area in the world. I had been warned that you can lose yourself in its labyrinthine alleys without a guide, but to be honest, we had a guide for a morning and I not only found him to be a bore, I thought a good map would do just fine. Fès is one of Morocco's four imperial cities (the other three being Meknès, Rabat, and Marrakech), and served as the country's capital from the 9th Century until 1912, when it was Rabat's turn.

Part of me dreaded going to Fès— I expected a noisy, smelly tourist trap where I'd be hassled at every turn, but I was happy to find stunning architecture, nice people, and so many shades of yellow. Yes, the amount of tourists clogged some of the smaller alleys to a standstill, but it was April. Perhaps a return in November would be a quieter (and cooler) experience— the next time however, will be with Baby being carried on the outside of me!

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