Photos through Fez

So now we’re to Fez. My absolute favorite place, hands down. As always the bulk of my post will be a synthesis of my travel journal that I wrote when I made myself a small photo book from my travels. If I travel to Morocco there are two things I want to do 1) Go to the northern area, 2) Spend more time in Fez (a lot more time…so I can wander and get lost more).

Fez is a place of tight spaces and hidden nooks.

It’s impossible for modern cars to traverse Fez’s streets, instead donkeys and mules bring all supplies into the ancient city. The maze like streets make it impossible for even directionally savvy tourists to find themselves completely and utterly lost, you can’t travel without a guide (trust me, I tried). The home of most of Moroccos famous artisan products there is no better place to shop than here. Especially famous for their leather, silk, indigo, tile, and metal work, almost all internationally known products of Morocco are made in the city.This is the city that I really learned to bargain in, and I loved it’s cloistered cluttered feeling. Navigating even to get food was exciting.There are far more tourists here than in Rabat, making it easier to communicate with the local populace.

Fez!

This is the (one of) the openings into old Fez. New Fez has streets that cars can go on etc etc. This was one of first views into Fez, and honestly I love this photo (suck it humility).

The Opening of the Market of Fez

I don’t know which one of these I like better. So they’re both here.

The Madrasa

Whooo this is our (one of) our first madrasas. They all kinda have the same look and layout, and they’re all gorgeous, but could get exhausting after a while.

I couldn't stop taking photos

I love all the mosaic and carving here. So beautiful.

Mosaic

A close up of my favorite mosaic. Each one of those pieces is made to fit exactly and fit together. Like a really tough but beautiful puzzle.

A thin street

Seriously. Some of these streets were TINY.

From Above

Like Aladdin. Or Assassins Creed.

The Tanneries

Smaller Tanneries. The White stuff is pigeon…unmentionables. The acid helps make the leather supple!

The Tanneries

Then the leather is dyed in color. Just to let you know, to even look over this you have to hold mint leaves to your nose, it smells so bad. It’s also very very hot, so these people? Super tough, they also only get one day off!

From Below

A picture up, from one of the small streets in Fez. Everything is pretty packed in.

Light from Above.

Looking Up inside the Wood-working museum.

The Souk al-Khamis

The Souk Al-Khamis or the the Thursday market is a primarily grocery market that happens every Thursday almost everywhere in Morocco. In cities it is no more than a time to get your fresh groceries for the whole week but in rural places it’s it’s the one day a week that they see all their friends and extended family. There are many temporary resaurants, barbershops, and used clothing and shoes stands built into tents. It’s very loud as the people see their friends for the first time in a week and tell their stories.

I had to ask to take these photos, and most people said no. It was hard to ask at first, but got easier and easier the more I asked. When I conferred with the boys in my group it turned out I was getting a lot more photos from people, probably one of the few times gender worked in my favor in Morocco.

This was one of my favorite experiences from my time there, I got to interact with Moroccans in a way that was totally devoid of tourism and the facade that the prescence of tourists can sometimes bring. The people are kind and funny, and theirs lives are so removed from mine. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how diverse this world when it’s not right in front of you.

The Market

A quick overview of the market.

Tea?

This man sells tea, you drink while at his stand then give the cup back, and he may or may not wash it. A endevour only to be untaken with great caution.

Apricots

There’s much debate among friend and family who see this photo, but I’m here to confirm. Those are APRICOTS.
But honestly he was so friendly, and this photo just makes me smile, he was so cheery!

Mint.

This is the first woman I met who let me take her photo, she was selling mint leaves. She was cheerful, and like women who would later let me take their photo she seemed to be complimented by my request. The mint she sells here will be made into tea by boiling the leaves in a silver teapot with copious amounts of sugar making a conconction that tastes rather like doublemint gum.

I can smell it now

A cook at one of the temporary restaurants set up for the day, He’s using a piece of paper to fan the smoke away while he grills. Having seen a previous cook in an adjacent grill tell me that I couldn’t have a photo, he waved me over and said I could take his instead, and I honestly think this is a much better photo.

See you later

The two men on the were parting and I this was a hip shot taken on the spur of the moment.

Such a heavy Burden

Another photo from the hip, it shows the heavy loads you often see the men and women (but especially women) carrying.

On the Hay

Oh Hay There

 I said a lot of it up top, but this was my favorite day, and I did a lot more portrait work than I usually do. Of course I learned after the fact that my 90mm would have been a better fit, but since it can sometimes take me a little while to set up my 90mm (for each photo) on my digital camera, I’m glad in the end that I had the ability to set it on auto and shoot quickly. I still wish I had brought my film camera though. It would have allowed me to use my 90mm quickly and effectively. I know for next time! There’s never such a thing as too many cameras (also next time I need to pack more clothing…getting my clothing washed was a total lie).

Easter

Again with the flowers. Yes. I know.
Flowers and I have a stockholm syndrome relationship, and when I heard that the Gardens near me had 2,000+ tulips…well I got myself out my filth and ran my sore body over there and walked over 3 miles in those garden. Stopping of course to crouch every 30 seconds.

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I dunno. Maybe I should just give up and give in to flowers?

If you want to see more (yes there are more) they can be found at my flickr, linked on the right of my blog post.

Snowpocalypse

So winter finally came. We got some of the first snowfall we’ve had in ages.
It’s only around 6-8inches, but since the power went out and snowplows were surprisingly absent and it felt like the end of existence.

I mean. I was wearing two pairs of pants. That’s just wrong. It wasn’t terribly cold out though, only around 30 degrees, so I ran outside in my boots and double layer pants and the dog and I went out and took pictures.

The dog begins surveying his kindgom. Though usually fond of snow he seems to be pretty unsure this time. Maybe because it's been so long since we've had it.

This is what the outside looked like from my door.

Now we're both hiding under the porch, I for the sake of my camera and he because he's getting wet, and, being a cat, he hates that.

The snow was threatening to take down our trees

He's so sad and pathetic.

I love the ice, if I had been industrious I would have pulled out my nice macro lens, but I was lazy instead.

Ice on my neighbors trees

Finally, our spruce trees.