After our visit to Chefchaouen, we headed towards our next destination: Fes, Morocco. On our way there, we stopped by one of the fruit stands to check out their oranges. I asked the farmer if it was okay to take a photo and he called the kids over to say cheese. Afterwords he signaled that he wanted to see the photo and was happy with the results 🙂
While driving down a small bumpy road through some small Berber villages, we noticed three little girls who started to wave at us. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to hand down Mila’s roller skates that she outgrew.
Their smiles and thankfulness made our day.
Our beautiful drive through the green farmlands of northern Morocco continued.
During our stays in large cities, we are opting for campgrounds versus parking lots. It makes leaving our van behind less stressful and gets us to enjoy and soak in the city and culture longer. This is Camping International just outside of Fes. The reviews are terrible for it on the Park4Night App but we still went with our expectations low. Some people complained that they insist to hold your passports as collateral but we decided to pay up front to avoid that for happening.
The bathrooms are all Turkish style and the showers need a lot of work but the water is hot and we parked in a grove of Eucalyptus trees.
The kids immediately said this place reminded them of the Eucalyptus grove in Santa Barbara where we hike to see monarch butterflies. Little reminders like that make my heart really happy, especially when it involves a place where Dan and I fell in love.
They next day we headed out of the campground to find a taxi to take us to the old town of Fes. It was way too far to walk ourselves from the campground. It’s a much bigger city than Chefchaouen.
We walked to the hospital from the campground and caught a large taxi from there. It cost us 60 dirham which is about 6 euros. The campground was trying to call us a taxi that included a tour for a bit more money and we declined. We prefer to walk, learn and discover things at our own pace especially with kids in tow. Plus we are not on a never ending vacation so being mindful of costs is a daily occurrence for us.
We got dropped off near the one of the entrances of the old town.
Fes is famous for their artisans. We immediately found people shaping items from copper sheets with small crowds surrounding them.
We were expecting to get super lost in the medina today since the one in Fes is so large but we followed a tour group from a bit and it led us straight to famous tannery. In order to see the tannery, you have to enter one of the leather shops and climb up their narrow stairway.
From up top you can see all the different tannery stations.
The white ones is where they clean the hides first using salt, cow urine and pigeon feces. No joke. Then the darker tubs is where the actual dyeing happens.
The hides are then laid out to dry. The special hides dyed with saffron get a special spot on the roof tops.
The first thing the kids noticed where all the satellite dishes. Luka said, “They really like their reception here!” and almost killed me. Hahaha.
And then we continued our walk through Fes’ medina.
We walked by all kinds of shops with beautifully crafted things.
We didn’t go in any since we don’t need anything. I am hoping to buy a small rug but so far all I see are ones that are made for houses, not vans.
But we did stop at a spice shop. We bought some Ras El Hanout which is delicious spice in the foods here and some chamomile loose tea.
Another couple who was also shopping there insisted on taking our photos there. Score!
So many cats in town. Some pregnant.
We continued walking around and also bought some nougat bars which reminded us of Turkish Delights so we called them Moroccan Delights, which is totally not what they are called here, I’m sure. And after seeing some lamb heads on display, the kids high tailed it to the next gate. It is here that Luka spotted someone with a fez hat and said ” I see a fez hat in Fes!” He was very happy about that.
Gate details. One side is green, the other is blue.
It took us awhile to find a taxi back tot he campground. So many drivers already had passengers or wanted to over charge us. So we waited and waited until finally a local man resting in his wagon got up and flagged a couple small taxis for us. So nice. And we ended up back home paying 30 dirhams for each small taxi.
We rewarded ourselves with a slow relaxing afternoon at camp after walking 6 miles today.
After three cities in a row, we are ready to find some real nature. Tomorrow we pack up and head to the Mid-Atlas Mountains for some boondocking (wild camping). Yeah!
Here’s the vlog Dan put together for our trip in the medina of Fes.
And one for our campground as well. Enjoy!
Thanks for following along on our adventures,