Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fez

Last weekend I went on a crazy trip to visit my friend who is studying Arabic in Morocco. Her university is near the city of Fez, so I arranged to fly there so she could meet me at the airport and take me around. With my fantastic travel luck, the plane ended up stopping in midair and informing us that due to bad weather in Fez, we would be landing in Casablanca instead. Thus, I took a five hour night tour of Morocco on a bus full of Spaniards, arriving at Fez airport around midnight Moroccon-time. Thankfully, my wonderful friend was there to meet me,otherwise I probably would have spent the night in the airport since I don't speak French or Arabic and didn't know where our hotel was.I've learned my lesson. Never again will I go anywhere without being prepared for ending up somewhere completely different or for much longer or anything. Obviously.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time in the Fez Medina, the enormous walled-in old city that is now shops and mosques as well as parts of the Qurayni University. Fez is the oldest city in Morocco, according to one of our taxi drivers, it was founded by the Prophet's nephew. I visited the tannery where the many leather products are made and got to see handwoven Berber carpets and blankets, and the famous woodwork and jewelry. I drank Moroccan mint tea and ate plenty of tagine, as well as Moroccan breads, a very thin flat bread called missamin and a soft baguette-like bread. For breakfast, fresh-squeezed orange juice came with the tea I ordered and missamin came with honey and apricot jam.I also learned some Arabic, my favorite being "meshy-mishkil" meaning nevermind or no problem. That's technically Moroccan Arabic though, the word in classical Arabic is slightly different.

Enjoy the pictures! And, yes, I can now officially say I have been to Africa.




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