Sunday, January 2, 2011


After a magical Christmas in Germany and Hungry, we went to Africa . . . Fes, Morocco, Africa. We stayed and explored a medina called Fes el Bali. An over 800 year old wall contains this medina of 350 thousand souls. If you were to go from one side of the wall to the other, as the crow flies, it would be about 2 miles. Words can’t even begin to describe the smells, look, and feel of this incredible, hidden world, but these pictures will give a glimpse of a few things we saw along the paths of this exotic labyrinth.
I would have loved to have taken more pictures of the amazing local people, but many of them believe
if you take a picture of them, it takes a piece of their soul.

The city was built so long ago the streets are not big enough for cars. We had to be dropped off at one of the medina's entrances and from there on out, we were on foot. Our luggage was carted in.

Following a guide, we were led through narrow paths. . .

. . . that led us to a quiet, beautiful and serene "Riad" (atrium) with an abundance of intricate traditional Moroccan tile work. I fell in love with the tile!

The hotel welcomed us by bringing us into a tucked away room for some sweet hot tea

we wore ourselves out walking the brick paths that wove us through the copper, wood, pottery, carpet, leather and everything in between districts. Everything was hand made and beautiful.

along the walled paths there are doorways (mostly wide open) that led to all sorts of rooms. Above is a community oven, where anyone in the medina can come and bake their bread. Below is a wood working area for carpenters.

everything you can imagine and more is at the Islamic markets

the girls were tired, so we hired a cart driver and plopped them in

everyone but Lila loved it

ahh, the tannery. If this picture was a scratch and sniff, you would be switching to another blog right now. Just imagine the smell of rotten dead animals and you'll get the idea. As we entered the leather district, we were given mint leaves to hold to our noses to keep us from gagging or worse. The picture above is showing the dying pots after the leather has been dried. Below you can see the hides piled on the ground and hanging to dry as well as the poor animals next in line.

An ancient Islamic school where the children were taught to memorize the 6236 verses of the Qur'an.

Henna Tattoos

For such a crowded, dirty, stinky place filled with people speaking a language none of us knew; the food was incredible and we felt very safe. I would say with a hired guide, Fes is a must see! We loved the experience.

Stay tuned for more living


Nathan said...

What an experience. I'm glad I can't smell the tannery.

Kimberly said...

Wow. Thanks for all the great pictures. Definitely something you will never forget.

Meagan said...


Rachael said...

Wow - that place looks like an amazing place to see. Thanks for the pictures!

Meghann said...

Incredible adventures! Thanks for sharing all of your pictures, I'm excited to look through your Christmas photos.

paula said...

This will make me think twice the next time I go to buy a leather coat or shoes....WOW. What a fun adventure.

Megan said...

Hey Leanne! This looks amazing! What a great experience for your family.

(this is Megan McKnight Snyder)

I was looking through a lego magazine the other day, and saw a picture of a lego ship done by a Max Harris, and wondered if it was your son's. At any rate, it made me think of you.

Looks like you had a beautiful holiday! I've been to Rothenberg and Neuchwanstein and it was very nostalgic to look at your pictures.