An American Abroad

The Forbidding City of Fes

As I look over my photos of Fes, I am struck by what a forbidding place it must seem. Closed doors. Windowless walls. Toothed rooflines. Narrow alleys. A sullen yellow color scheme. On the surface, Marrakech seemed more welcoming, but Marrakech’s welcome is that of a smiling salesman who’s hoping to part you from your cash. Fes feels more genuine.

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We spent most of our time in the medina, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its thousands mostly unnamed streets and alleyways, it is an easy place to get lost in. But maybe “lost” is the wrong word. When you don’t have a specific destination and are there to see what is to be seen, you can’t ever be truly lost. We did, however, misplace our accommodations (the Dar Sondos Guesthouse) more than once.

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And so we wandered through the melancholy and secrets of the medieval streets.

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