And As the Full Moon Rises Over Medina of Fes in Morocco…

…the sun sets to usher in the cooler night air; but the noises in this ancient part of the city continue: vendors hawking their wares; the motor bikes ripping through the narrow stone “streets”; the children playing; the beating of a drum not long after one of several public prayers permeates the city; a siren or two wailing off in the distance.

And As the Full Moon Rises Over Medina of Fes in Morocco…

Fes Medina Morocco

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

I am almost down to my last liter of water after walking almost eight miles today alone — but not to worry, as another refrigerated bottle containing two liters can be purchased for six Moroccan dirhams. As of this writing, that is a paltry 64 cents — and that is one of the many ways I found out that Morocco is generally kind on the budget of its visitors.

Fes Medina Morocco

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The searing heat did not deter me from wandering aimlessly around the city, in which no motor vehicles other than the aforementioned bikes are permitted to ply — and neither did having the potential anchor which was the car I rented in Casablanca and drove overnight to get here. A mere 30 Moroccan dirhams set my mind at ease, which paid for the car to rest for the remainder of the day and overnight in the parking lot not far from Bab Boujloud, which is the main western entrance to the city that is also known as the Blue Gate.

Fes Medina Morocco

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

As a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — which is otherwise more popularly known as UNESCO — the Medina of Fes is home to the oldest university in the world and was founded as the capital of the Idrisid dynasty between the years 789 and 808; and it is the type of place where a different scent is caught with every breath. Perhaps one moment, a whiff caught the aroma of a variety of olives; the next moment, meats are cooking after the animal had been freshly slaughtered. Roosters were still crowing and fighting at some of the stalls while scrawny stray cats scavenge for food — an animal rights dream city this apparently is not upon first glance.

Fes Medina Morocco

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The sadist who conjured the idea of creating solid stone benches to bake near Bab Rcif in the sunshine during the day should have tested this poor idea first to find out how merciless they are on the butt of a weary visitor; but the owners of some of those motorbikes park near them — perhaps as a form of protection of their properties…

Summary

Fes Medina Morocco

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but I have the last laugh, so to speak, as I soak in the decidedly different culture which is the way of life in this vibrant city — a distinct contrast to what westerners are accustomed.

At first, I felt like I was way out of my comfort zone — but that turned out to be a far more positive experience as a result…

…and now, as all the stars come out at night to join the full moon in a superb celestial display which complements the cacophony of the Medina below, I realize that choosing to visit Fes was indeed the right decision — and if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Medina in this city in Morocco, do not pass it up by any means.

I plan to write more about this incredible experience in a future article when I have the opportunity to do so…

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “And As the Full Moon Rises Over Medina of Fes in Morocco…”

  1. EJ says:

    Hi Brian. I figured you’d appreciate me sharing that I haven’t been reading many of your articles lately. The titles (and inferred subject material) have been pretty specific, and I haven’t had interest in them. I feel like you haven’t had very many general travel advice information articles recently, which is a subject area I consider you to do quite well with. I know this is YOUR blog, but I know you appreciate feedback, and I have been reading for several years. Thanks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You are absolutely correct, EJ; and I have been very mindful of that.

      Many reasons include technology issues and travel itself, ironically; and I intend to get back to writing more articles with travel advice information as well as trip reports, which have been stacked up in my backlog.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts. I indeed do truly appreciate your feedback.

  2. Matthew says:

    I enjoyed this article very much. Even more than the bottle of water for 6 dirhams, I enjoy a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice for the same price!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Then you paid too much, Matthew. Every orange juice stand was offering a glass for five Moroccan dirhams…

      …but then again, what are we talking about — 11 cents?!?

      Fresh squeezed orange juice came with my breakfast the next morning, which was included in the room rate of 35 euros. it was some of the best orange juice I have ever had.

      I am glad you enjoyed the article. If you have any articles with your own experiences in the Medina of Fes, please post the links here. I would like to read them.

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