Fes, Morocco | September, 2017
We enjoyed Fes, but we felt the people were more pushy here and had more motive behind their kindness and actions in comparison to the friendly and inquisitive people we had met in Marrakech. Our time in Fes was short, and our overall impression being shaped by such a brief experience there probably doesn’t fairly represent the city and people, so take this with a grain of salt.
The Medina is small and was more difficult for us to navigate, with each narrow road and alley lined to the brim with vendors and merchants - all the colors and commotion blending together. Undeniably beautiful, but also challenging to maneuver! As we ventured out for the second time in Fes, we made the decision to trust a young man with directions. We initially told him we were fine, and could figure it out on our own, but we were clearly unsure of where we were going so when he approached us again, assuring us he just wanted to help, we allowed him to. Enroute to where we were trying to go we conveniently ended up in his uncle's leather shop and father's rug store before having to abruptly say no to the spice shops. In the moment we felt scammed and hustled, mostly because we felt unprepared. We trusted him, and that trust was violated which is never a good feeling. But, in the end, we walked away with a few items I’m sure we will be glad to have down the road, and most importantly a story to go along with them.
I find this very challenging while traveling, and in other aspects of life - knowing when and who to trust. Without taking risk, you’ll end up losing out on many opportunities and experiences, but getting trapped or scammed is never a fun feeling and so sometimes saying no before giving an opportunity a chance seems easier. If I’ve learned one thing from this trip, it’s that people are kind and generous, vulnerable and afraid, and curious and inquisitive just like me. We are all humans, and the more we say yes and are willing to make mistakes the more we live and experience what the world has to offer.
We would highly recommend our Riad in Fes as well, Dar Seffarine. The family style dining on the terrace in the evening was a lovely way to meet other travelers. If you have time, take a trip to Chefchaouen — We heard only wonderful things although we didn’t make it there ourselves.
From Fes we took the train to Tangier to catch a ferry to Spain.