Today in a farewell to Fes blog entry, I’ll take you on a couple of my favorite outings in this city. The first is a tour of the massive ramparts that surround the medina. You don’t have to look too hard to know that you are in a walled city:
On a clear day up at the Borj Nord, a lookout tower to the north built in the 16th century to guard the medina, you can really see forever…
There is a weapons museum inside the fortress:
And if you sit around the garden long enough,
some nice old man will bring you flowers…
for a small tip. Hey, nothing in life is free. Except maybe the thrill of being up at the other Borj near the Merenid Tombs and ruins…
I love this picture–click on it to see a larger version:
So after this cool jaunt for a lofty view of the city, I end up at my second favorite place–what else but an art store (there’s no Chanel boutique in Morocco!),
The friendly artist/owner shows me pictures of his daughter who is studying in San Francisco and gives me a tour of his upstairs studio…
which is no bigger than the size of a very narrow, small bedroom, completely windowless. I don’t know how he fits them all in here, but he says the space is shared by 5 artists. This makes me a little sad.
So I buy. Maybe I do walk around with the word “sucker” on my forehead, and maybe the smell of oil and acrylic paints is making me woozy, but pity has a strong effect on my pocketbook. And art makes me happy. So as I wait for my paintings to be wrapped up,
I chat with his son about his life in Fes as a young man. He tells me he doesn’t paint like his dad because his art of choice is music. Later, we end up a few doors down where he shows off some of the Moroccan stringed instruments:
The best present from a trip, besides the experience itself, is local art. That way I can enjoy a little bit of Fes everyday in my own home.
My passport is ready. See you in the next town!