Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In Fez, Still Alive

Four days into the trip now and we're comfortably settling into Fez. We've covered Meknes already. It was a little break-neck, but the weather sucked and pretty much everything that's awesome about Meknes is more awesome in Fez.

The touts in Fez are probably the most aggressive and unrelenting of any that I've seen anywhere. Bangkok has nothing on the imperial cities. Knowing that a myriad of souvenirs (not to mention any sort of drug or illicit service imaginable) is at our disposal at "very special price for you" is comforting, but the saturation of advertisement can be annoying. One 'faux-guide' waited for us outside our riad for three hours before I finally told him off. Two restaurant touts got into a shouting match over us last night - bidding each other's set menu price down from 80dh to 40. "He will give you yesterday's food" the loser shouted at us.

The less-than-endearing form of capitalism practiced here is due entirely to the tourist activity inside the walls of the medina. And tourists are drawn here for good reason. The beauty of the city more than compensates for the hassle and it's really good to be here. It's easy to lose track of why one is drawn to Morocco if you're living in Casablanca. No such danger here.

Pictures and more information to follow. I can see the walls of the city from inside this cybercafe, so I feel ridiculous sitting here.

Ifrane, maybe Azrou, maybe Errachidia, and Merzouga next on the itinerary.


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