Dodging donkeys, carts, wheel barrows, scooters, thousands of people (one of which was carefully cradling a goat brain in his palms), through a labyrinth of narrow alleyways was an intense experience. Fes (Fez) is the third largest city in Morocco, but is said to have the largest contiguous car-free urban area in the world. Words cannot describe the maze that lies in the Medina of Fes al Bali. Every turn and man-made tunnel under buildings made us thankful we had a guide. If someone dropped you off somewhere in the middle of the Medina, it could take a lifetime to find your way out. Luckily, there is a back up plan. If you get lost, gie a kid 10 dirham coin and they'll lead you out.
Wondering through the narrow alleyways is a sensory experience. The seas of beige colored walls are splashed with the bright colors of textiles worn and sold by the locals. The smells are strong, both good and bad. Spicy tagine dishes bubbling over open fires, piles of spices in stands, pungent stenches of tanneries, chicken coops and goats. The sounds of the traditional Berber drums and tambourines are mixed with street vendor pitches, children laughing and scooter horns beeping. We loved every chaotic minute we were within the walls of the Medina. While we were there, we toured through a family run ceramics workshop. They showed us every step of the process from grinding the stones into mud, to stomping the air bubbles out of the clay, to forming the pots to firing and painting. At this work shop they make traditional bowls, tagines, tea cups, mosaic tiles and much more. The level of detail and craftsmanship that goies into ever piece was really impressive.