Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fes for Halloween


After a brief stop in Rabat, our group headed off to Fes for Halloween.

At our elegant riad, we had a mini-Halloween celebration. For costumes, Bob, Anna and Tommy improvised from things they found in the room. I'll let you figure out what they were.

Anna then decided she would dress up in a second costume -- as her mother.


Also that afternoon, I bravely went out with Karla and Gary to help them find a rug. At first, Anna, Nana and Bob joined us.

But after a little time on the scene, Bob, Anna and Nana quickly disappeared, leaving just Karla, Gary, Gracie, and me.

Low point of the experience? Definitely when Karla announced -- after at least an hour of looking at no fewer than 30-40 rugs and narrowing the choices down to five -- that she really needed to see some more rugs (especially since the shopkeeper had something like 800 more of that same style). Oh dear.

High point of the experience? Somewhat later, when I realized that Karla and Gary had reconciled their notably different taste in rugs and had truly (and at long last) agreed upon a very nice rug. Al-Hamdulillah.

In the meantime, poor Gracie had just given up and coped the best way that six-month old babies can under such circumstances.

The next day, we explored the medina further.

Just a couple of notes on Fes, one of my many favorite cities in Morocco: Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. Founded in the 9th century, it is a city that serves for many as the cultural capital of Morocco and is best known for its authentic, medieval medina. The call to prayer at sunset is, for me, almost magical as it echoes through the city.

The medina is filled with shops, residents, beautifully-renovated and as-yet-still-ruined riads and more than 9500 narrow streets in which to wander and lose yourself.

A few shots from the medina: The tanneries.

A donkey at work in a narrow lane.

A brass shop.

The street musicians, looking for some dirham tips.
Karla, Grace and Gary at the 14th century Bou Inania Medersa.

Goofing off at Cafe Clock, our favorite place for lunch in Fes (with the best date-almond milkshakes in the world, although Karla's banana-almond milkshake was pretty good too).

Then it was time to take Nana and PopPop back to Rabat for their flight home, while Karla, Grace and Gary were just getting, ah, warmed up on their shopping. The Fes shopkeepers were about to have their hands full.

A bientot,


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