Today we managed to find the Chouara Tanneries, which are one of the most popular attractions in Fes. Every second person wants to point you or guide you in the right direction…”I am not a guide” they say, but then look offended if you don’t offer them a tip. It’s very confusing! We wandered along with a German group for a while, but they were being ushered to a more “expensive” rooftop. We found one that said free view…hahaha…nothing is free! But we confirmed it was…I also asked if they had a leather shop…yes madam of course…you are welcome to browse…but no pressure! (Except when we left!)
The tanneries were a bit of a disappointment, mostly because of the number of people shuffling through the narrow streets to get the best view. Ours wasn’t the best view, but it still gave us an idea of the process. The stream running by looked polluted, but the shopkeeper assured us the lime was cleaning the river…but there are no fish anymore!
We had had enough of the Medina, so walked on the outskirts of the old town, and climbed up through the cemetery to an old part of the wall. This gave us a fabulous view of the city, and an added bonus was that locals were drying their leather skins on the hillside.
Now we are enjoying the afternoon sunshine on the rooftop of our Riad. We’ve played a few games of Rummy-o and are just watching the world go by. Fes has been great in that the craftspeople are still practising their art in the city, but it is a bit too much of a tourist town for us. We have had a mixture of experiences which is not unusual, but we do feel like some of the locals see us as a way to make a quick few hundred dirham! We shouldn’t be that surprised! (Everyone who approaches seems to be a guide, have a shop or want to “help” you.) We haven’t come across this approach very much on our last few adventures…it gets tiring!