Aside from the modern town constructed in the mid 20th century, Fez is divided into two areas: Fez el-Jdid and Fez el-Bali. Fez el Bali is the old medina, where sites most interesting to culture vultures and bargain hunters are located.
Fez el-Bali is a labyrinth of narrow, winding alleys, almost impossible to negotiate without loosing your way. Although you can hire a guide, most travellers are content to wander aimlessly, giving in to the whirligig of unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells.
The Medina itself is divided into different parts, known as souqs, each specialising in a different craft, skill or trade. The streets are crowded with stalls and workshops where you can watch the artisans at work and put your bargaining skills to the test. The sheer range of products you can buy is mind-boggling: leather goods, textiles & yarns, carpets, Moroccan pots, metal ware, jewellery, foodstuffs, henna…enough exotic offerings to empty the pockets of even the most cautious shopper.
Be aware that the Moroccans are accomplished hagglers. The original asking price for any item will be several times it’s true value, and customers are expected to participate in a verbal contest before any deal is clinched. The golden rule of bargaining is stick to your guns and don’t agree to a price you’re not prepared to pay: if the vendor won’t give you a good price simply walk away. Chances are they’ll concede and come after you.
photo: Zeiss Batis 18mm
original size 25000x12500