A Wander in Fez

Blue Gate in FezI have a golden rule when in Fez; I never walk up either Tala’a Kbira, ‘big street’, or Tala’a Sghira, ‘little street’, I only ever walk down, working on the premise that my knees and stamina are nothing compared to those of the mules that provide much of the traffic in the Medina’s two main pedestrian arteries – and their muleteer’s, come to that. I consider the twenty dirham a taxi costs from Rcif at the bottom of the steep hill that is Fez el Bali to the Bab Boujloud, the principal entrance at the top, to be a very worthy investment. (more…)

Navigating Morocco’s Medinas

Fez Morocco

A medina is generally the oldest section of a city in North Africa. Inside a medina exists the remnants of a thriving city. When the word medina is used outside of North Africa it is meant to simply imply a city or town. Artisan shops, palaces, fountains, mosques, monuments, schools and residential homes all make up the core of a medina.

The streets of Morocco’s medinas are very narrow as they were built long before motorized vehicles were even a thought. Animals, motorcycles and bicycles are the only forms of transportation that can run through most medinas. In some instances the streets were built narrow and confusing to slow down invaders.

Morocco’s medinas have been largely well preserved and most are still operational today. In the cities of Chefchaouen, Essaouira, Fez (Fes), Marrakech, Meknes, Rabat, Tangier, Taza and Tetouan, visitors can enjoy some of the oldest and most intact medinas. If you’re planning to visit, here are a few tips to make navigating Morocco’s medinas much more enjoyable: (more…)