The moment I entered the medina in Fes, I was met with a lot of annoyances. A simple “thank you” with a smile didn’t work, so I ignored the scammers and hawkers. The first scammer told me that the hostel I’ve booked had already been closed a week ago. He then recommended me a very nice one for a cheaper price. The second scammer pretended to be helpful by showing me the way to my hostel, but I was very quick to tell him nicely that I’d be fine to find the hostel on my own. We had a little argument until he realized that I wasn’t going to let him win. He looked at me like he could crush me in one blow.
The medinas in Morocco almost have the same thing to offer. They awaken your five senses in all corners along potholed alleys and narrow main streets. The shops are alive with colours and pungent smell of spices and food drift the air. These scenes are delightful but I was curious to see the medina without people going around. So, I decided to explore it early morning, long before the shopkeepers display their goods.
With empty streets, the souk looked so abandoned.
The Medina in Fes looks like this in the morning.
The bare, cobblestoned streets seem to have their own dramatic beauty.
The beams of light and the play of shadows create a sense of place you’ve been longing for.
When the medina is deserted, there are no distractions from vendors and hawkers.
And I discovered surprises I won’t have noticed with a crowd.
I noticed this incredible doors.
This stunning, century-old exterior ornaments.
This beautiful graffiti.
This fountain with a pretty design.
And these hardworking donkeys.
I met these early risers.
And hardworking humans, too.
I spotted things that were just left outside. Like these animal skins.
And these vegetables.
Without colours from the shops, this street really looks so neglected you would never think it’s still being used.
Some streets fit the description, “There’s light at the end of the tunnel.” 😀
Sometimes, you’d never fully know the beauty of a place until you see it unoccupied.
As travelers, we tend to go and follow the crowd because we have fears we’d miss something out if we won’t follow them.
But, as you can see in these photos, the crowd surely missed this experience I had.
Where to stay in Fez
Dar Elinor is few meters from the world-renowned medina in Fez. It’s clean and beds are comfortable. Staff are nice and so willing to help your stay memorable.
Not into travelling solo or alone? Discover Morocco via Intrepid Travel. They have tours that aren’t crowded but limited participants. Choose from the different itineraries they have, exploring part of or the whole country. You’ll love their tours!