Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fes and the Middle Atlas

I'm wrapping up my trip to Morocco with some images of Fes and the Middle Atlas mountains. A pretty amazing experience, and a little daunting at the same time. We stayed at the beautiful Dar Roumana, right in the medina, and were well taken care of by Vincent, the chef and manager, and Mohammed, the assistant manager.

Fes is the second largest city of Morocco with a population of about a million. We stayed in the ancient medina of Fes el-Bali, a labyrinth of over 9000 streets and it's car-free. Nothing but donkeys and motorbikes. This post is picture heavy so grab a drink....

The views from our riad, Dar Romana. Perfect spot to hang out. 

I don't think I'll forget the tanneries. I will never look at leather the same way again. This really has to be one of the hardest jobs out there.

A father and daughter making bread.

Loved having the chance to see these men weave. By the way, I never just took a picture without asking. It didn't hurt to leave a few dollars as well.

One of the entrances into the medina.

We had a very sweet guide, Mustapha, take us on a day trip. Looking back, I wish we had made it an over night trip. So much to see, and just not enough time. It was so beautiful.

The three images above, are all of the pretty Berber town of Azrou. About a 2 hour drive from Fes, and well worth it. It was nice to get up into the mountains, and breath fresh air.

We stopped off at a beautiful cedar forest, and ran into these guys. Barbary apes were everywhere. Pretty magical.

I have to admit, though we had a fantastic time, I feel like it's not the best place to go if you're two women alone. I felt much more comfortable when we were with a guide. I really would love to hear from those of you who have been there too. Were you alone, with a group? If you were alone, you're a champion! Leigh Webber, I'm talking to you ;) 

Have a great day!


Primroses Attic said...

Fantastic pics, It looks an amazing place to visit.

La La's Land said...

I love the shot of where they dye leather and fabric!

Wendy said...

What incredible memories Janis! I can recall the smell of the tanneries by just looking at these photos - that was such a hilarious day. Beautiful photos as always xo

Lady Grey said...

oh my - your photos are magical!
You make me want to visit there again.

elisa said...

janis, your images of the dyeing and weaving are astonishing! it looks incredibly beautiful and intense there, i can imagine it was something else. x

Meesh @ I Dream of Chairs said...

Wow, incredible images. What an adventure!

Lily from Birch + Bird said...

Amazing pics of an amazing adventure! I always wanted to got to Morocco after reading Michener's "The Drifters" but it was a bit too dangerous back when I was backpacking after high school, many moons ago! Glad you braved it out and had such a great time :)

Vintage Home said...

oh wow those are amazing pictures ...

Vintage Home said...

Thanks for sharing these images of your special time there!

Leigh Webber said...

You made me laugh! I had seen on Twitter that you posted photos form Fes and I just got a chance to read your post.

These are great and I totally agree with your statement about feeling safer with a guide! Those tanneries... whew! I got there too late in the day to see the colors of the dye. But I did see carcasses, so there.

I wish I'd gotten up to the Atlas Mountains like you two did.

Marisa Seguin said...

Beautiful photos (as always!) I've always wanted to see the tanneries! Did they smell horrid? My sister and I have been waffling over whether we want to pop over to Morocco while traveling this June. We'll see what ends up happening!

kate / tinywarbler said...

amazing images janis! the colors look so pretty... i can only imagine about the tanneries.....
i love the images of the atlas mountains, so nice you ladies made it there!

Tan said...

I believe I have a picture of the same man on the loom, but with bright blue thread.

And yes...I will also never look at leather the same way

lisaroyhandbags said...

Your pics are fantastic! Thanks for taking us along - to me, this is what visiting the middle east is really about - it's sad that Dubai seems to have lost all of it's culture and replaced it with only glitz. The mountains are beautiful!

Amy Walters said...

I'm a week late on this post, but I just had to say how lovely these pics are! So stunning.

Rosa @ Flutter Flutter said...

Love the pictures! Your blog always brings out the desire to travel in me Janis!

I have to admit that I was too embarrassed to ask to take a picture in a restaurant while I was on holidays... so I didn't, and I'm kicking myself for not being braver!

Razmataz said...

My niece and brother were there last year and even with him she was harassed all the time. Lewd remarks (she's a well tattood blonde) all the time. She hated that part.

My aunt has a place just outside of Marrakesh in a small village and they say it is much different there.

Lebenslustiger said...

Thank you for bringing all these wonderful memories back. I have been to Fes as a young woman - unfortunately did not photograph back then...but reading your post really makes me want to go visit again! Greetings from Germany, Anette

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