We’re loving exploring the labyrinthine medinas, or old Moroccan town centres, with their winding alleys, hidden squares, dead ends, and endless traders. The smell of mint, orange blossom and cinamon wafts around every second corner. We found a very comfortable guesthouse in Tangier located within the kasbah (the once fortified quarters of the ruling Sultan’s family, located inside the medina and now a residential only area). After a day of getting lost in the medina the kasbah offered a welcome break from the daily hubbub.
Tangier is a city of contradictions with beautifully restored homes alongside decaying French colonial buildings. Many families living within the kasbah today don’t have running water to their homes, so either do their washing at the local community fountain, or cart water to their home. Just down the road is the Ville Nouvelle, a new modern city, much like many Western cities. We’ve hired a car to get around, which isn’t too difficult when you’ve got an ipad and map app, although many of the road signs are in French, which is helpful.
We are now in Fez and once again are drawn to the medina. The streets are lined with shops and craftworkers, many of whom still produce their wares in the traditional manner. Drums made from fish skins, intricate brass filigree lamps, Fez ceramics and hand crafted leather. The Moroccans are very friendly and helpful, but everyone has a ‘brother’ who has a carpet shop, restaurant, spice store, etc that they feel compelled to take you to. Thus far we’ve resisted the temptation to buy a Berber carpet for the boat. Hope all is good back home.