Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere // Fes, Morocco

Another one of Morocco's iconic cities is Fes. It's not just a hat Abu wears, it is also home to one of the most amazing markets I have been lucky enough to explore.


Haman
The traditional Moroccan Haman bath is a must do. I won't lie, it's a little weird. You have to be pretty open minded about the process because you're in a small, hot room, naked except for underwear or swimsuit bottoms with the woman performing the bath and your closest friends. The girls I was with and I had zero shame after that bath. There was no changing covertly in the corner or covering yourself up after that Hamam. We all saw everything. Anyways. There are different steps that include a rub down of a thick brown goop followed by an intense scrubbing exfoliation then an oil massage ending with a facial and shampooing. I think that's it...it was a lot! Mind you, you're unceremoniously rinsed with a few buckets of water after each step. So its hot, wet, and naked. Yes, my mind went there too as you'll see in the next few sentences. The most insane but hilarious moment to me was when I was getting a massage I was lying face down. I have two hands on me by the woman massaging...then I hear some Arabic being spoken and wait...what the...is that..oh yep, those are now 6 different hands on me. I had 3 naked women massaging me at one point and it took everything in me not to start laughing. I just sat there thinking, if ever there was a moment in my life that was the setup for a porno, this would be it. And they massage everything but what was covered by my undies. I left feeling completely clean and rejuvenated if not a little giggly from the whole crazy process!


*Note: Obviously no pictures were taken in the Hamam. You'll have to use your imagination.**
Medina
You might get sick of me talking about the different Medina's in Morocco but they are all so different and so unique that I can't help but gush about each one. Fes Medina is what I imagined Moroccan markets to look like. Tight walkways, weaving walkways, the perfect place to get lost and not be worried...you'll eventually find our way back. The main attractions among the different shops are scarves, sandals, leather goods, charms, Hammer pants (yes, the baggy legged MC Hammer 80s-esque pants) and that's all I can remember at the moment. I mean, there's a ton of different stuff but a lot of those staple items can be found anywhere and everywhere. My personal favorite was the hamsa charms. My love for Laini Taylor and Daughter of Smoke and Bone was at an all time high while visiting Morocco and a hamsa charm for me and my sisters and mom back home was a must. A symbol of protection, the hamsa is supposed to keep away bad mojo sent your way and keep you safe. Le sigh. I wear mine all the time. Between my Moroccan hamsa, Sicilian horn, and Scottish Celtic Cross, I think I'm good.

Leather Tannery & Ceramic Factory
This was so cool to visit! Morocco is knows for it's leather goods and ceramic products and I can see why. The colors and process of making leather was interesting and lucky for me I was there in January so it wasn't too hot and I avoided the *ahem* smell. The ceramic factory was equally intriguing. At the ceramic factory you could get a little more up close and personal. The process of making something out of ceramic tile and the making of the tiles themselves is so intricate! Way more detailed than I ever thought and the final product is beautiful.


Fabric Shop
The highlight of my trip was the fabric shop. They showed us how they make the silk or cashmere scarves, rugs, etc on a huge loom. It's crazy. And lucky me, the man who owns it chose me to demonstrate how to make the scarf a hijab. Look below, what do you guys think? Do I look like a local? I'm told I've got the eyes to pull it off and apparently the owner thought so, too. He asked to buy me from our tour guide. I'm not even fucking with you, this actually happened. He was insistent and kept asking when I was coming back. I asked how many camels I'm worth and he said, 'None. You are worth the price of my heart and there is only one so it is very valuable.' Play on, player. If this was a book that would have been a great meet-cute, eh? Upstairs they had handmade, traditional dresses and YES, I again got to play dress up. Against my will, ok I lie I totally loved it, I was dressed as Morocco's newest princess. I'm not complaining. Except they didn't know I'm a Queen and not a Princess. That's okay. I shall let that transgression go, just this once. And hey, I would have a new scarf and dress to wear everyday, not a bad deal, eh?

The Royal Palace
I didn't go inside but the outside is gorgeous. I don't even know if anybody can do inside. The local tour guide was a little all over the place and talked about the same thing over and over so I started to zone out. I think the doors are made of gold. I fail at this one but the place is gorgeous. That's all that mattered to me at the time. Oops.

Can you tell I LOVE Morocco?! And how badly do you want to go to a Hamam? Chefchaouen is coming soon and you definitely want to see that place! Beautiful doesn't begin to describe it!

Don't forget to post on Instagram with the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday! It can be anything--a throwback travel photo of a place you've been, a Google image of where you want to go, an inspirational quote, a travel themed trinket you have, anything that inspires your wanderlust.

2 comments:

  1. I love reading about your adventures in Fes! :) We went there 2 years ago and it really was beautiful! I think we went to the same tannery and ceramic factory ;) Aside from all the leather and fabric goodies, I totally loved the spices and tajines, we actually bought one in Fes and have used it sometimes, but my creations are not nearly as good as the tajines filled with food we had there, sadly.

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  2. It is seriously SO cool to read about your travel adventures! I don't know when I'll ever be able to go to Morocco, but your post has definitely intrigued me even more. It looks like so much fun and looks SO interesting!

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