21 Aug Morocco | Guided Tour in Fez
We didn’t give up on Fez, even we were so tired of getting hustled all the time. We started getting used to it. There were many places we wanted to explore but it seemed a bit challenging if we didn’t have a guide to come with us ( ie. visit tannery and ceramic factory). At the last minute we hired a local guide through our hotel to give us a half day tour of Fez old Medina. We were brought to silk factory, yarn factory, ceramics factory etc and we quite enjoyed the tour honestly. We tried to stick to the main street of Medina when we were by ourselves. With a local guide, we could enjoy browsing different parts of Medina. We visited the local bakery, Hammam, the wet market with fresh groceries, the copper/metal district, the leather district etc. You can custom the tour any way you want, just let your guide know what’s your preference of places to go. We were much more comfortable to go back to those places the next day by ourselves as we knew the way getting there. It’s all worth that $50 and saved us from all the troubles. I know many of you would go to Fez just because of the UNESCO heritage Chouara tannery. We didn’t have a chance to go there and couldn’t tell you how it was. It’s temporarily closed for renovation. There are many tanneries in Fez anyway and they still operate the same way as they were hundreds of years ago.
Fez is an ancient charm and we were the time travellers going back to era of Aladdin. Everything was hand made, process was manual and we couldn’t use our standard to measure their lifestyle. Some may find very disturbing to see a camel’s head hanging in the butcher stall. I was upset when I saw kittens were feeding by garbage. Donkeys carrying heavy cow hides looked very sad and miserable….that also bothered me for a while. That’s why I’m not sure if I like Fez…that culture shock was too big for me to absorb.
Then we met a wonderful couple from the hotel, we had great laughs and great time together wandering in Fez. They actually made my trip so memorable that I let go all those disturbances away. They eased my bias and showed me that life was beyond what I could imagine. They made me feel I was too careful and serious for everything in my life. We need to ease up and be comfortable in any situation. Being too cautious all the time creates unnecessary pressure. It’s okay for things to get wrong sometimes….
I never thought I would have chance to meet the real locals and have dinner with them. The couple introduced us to do “couch surfing” style of cultural exchange. I have to say the locals we met were very friendly and genuine. I shouldn’t get shadowed and bothered by all those hustlers. If you have read my first travel journal of Morocco, you probably know it’s an eye opener for me to get out from my comfort zone and do something that I never thought I would do…dancing and singing with a large group of newly met people from all around the world and the locals.
Fez may not be my favourite city in the world but the experience was truly inspiring….and I will never forget that “one dance” in my life.