Adventure Days · Morocco · Uncategorized

Fez, Morocco: Adventure Day (kind of)

Well last night was a bust as well! I woke up with L in my bed, and could hear talking downstairs. I found Ty in the bathroom with R. He had made her a nest of pillows and blankets by the toilet. They were FaceTiming my mom for support.

R was a mess. She hadn’t gotten sick, but felt extremely nauseous. She seemed to have a bit of a fever as well. I gave her some Pepto and Tylenol. Then tried to get her to eat some bread. We lounged around most of the morning. The kids did some school work on the iPad. Ty took a nap since he’d spent most of the night up with R.

The kids watched some shows, while I messed with the blog. The internet is good, unless I want to add photos.

Finally about 1pm I was going stir crazy and ready to leave the house. So Ty found us a Chinese restaurant and we set off. (We’re so sick of grilled meat and French fries, we needed something different!)

We found the restaurant and thank goodness it was wonderful! No one spoke English and we don’t speak Chinese or French. (French is the second language here, after Arabic) But with lots of pointing we managed to order some very yummy food.

The second goal of the day was to visit the tanneries. It’s what Fez is known for. So Ty located them on the map and we set off. These streets are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There are just walls of buildings everywhere. So you can’t actually get out unless you go to these very specific gates. It’s very labyrinth like, and dark, and old, and a touch uncomfortable. I honestly don’t feel like I can describe them adequately. There are houses on some streets, food vendors on others, restaurants, and trash heaps everywhere. There is no such thing as a trash can Trash collection appears to be a few workers with stick brooms that come out early in the morning. Its. Very. Different.

Anyway, thank goodness for GPS, we were able to find the tannery. Well actually when you get any where close to it the locals start pointing you in the right direction. Finally I gave in, and followed a local “worker” into this sketchy building to “view the tannery”. It felt like one of those moments that they warn tourists not to go off into unknown areas. Ty scoffs at me though, I swear as a man, he has never had a twinge of unease in Morocco. I have had a very different feeling about the place.

Again, anyway, this worker led us up through these leather shops to a viewing platform. From here you can see the workers below in the tannery. It was the oldest tannery in all of Morocco. It smelled just as terribly as everyone says it would. But it was something to witness!

(Perhaps this short video will show the experience a bit)

After the tannery, we wound our way back to our house. Settled in for the afternoon, gave those who needed it more meds. By this time Ty was really feeling terrible. I was hoping he would perk up a bit more for dinner. But he and R really went down hill quickly.

L and I were left scrambling. We had not enough water for everyone. Just a bit of dried out bread, and not much else for dinner. Also we were short on funds, and needed more cash. Since apparently everyone, only takes cash in Morocco! With much trepidation L and I ventured out onto the streets of the Médina. With Ty’s phone at 30% battery life as our guide.

It was a major struggle to not only try and find our way in the streets but to then try and locate an ATM. We finally came across a Western Union, which I then was able to get some minor directions to an ATM. That ATM after we finally found it, wouldn’t work. Ugh!! This took us about an hour, to accomplish. We wandered back towards out house, and ran across another vendor we had dealt with earlier. He was able to again give me vague directions toward another ATM. Another half hour of blindly walking up hill, we found an ATM that worked!

By this point, I was over being harassed by local sellers, lost amongst sketchy streets, no really knowing where I was going, it was such an overload. We brought some more bread, eggs, and yogurt drinks from a little quick stop. Then I let L buy a bunch of candy as a reward for being dragged everywhere with me. L, by the way, was loving this adventure through the streets. He would run up and down the hills as fast as he could through the crowds. This kid has so much energy, it’s boggling!

Then we attempted to head back home. This was a whole other challenge. Trying to get somewhere specific was extremely difficult. Especially when you wouldn’t be anywhere on the map. Just in the middle of some streets.

After almost two hours of being gone, and we were close to home, but I was struggling, I gave in to some assistance from the street kids. They’re always hassling as you walk by. In a kind way, saying hi, asking where you’re from, if you’ll give them money. Well this kid offered to show us the way home. So we went with him, and he was able to ask along the way, and got us home much faster than I would have. He of course wanted payment for his ‘service’ but what I offered was apparently too low, so he turned down my money.

We were so happy to be home. R had been sleeping this whole time, she went straight back to bed. Ty was glad to see us safe and went to bed soon after.

I was proud of myself for making it through that adventure, however I had no wish to repeat it any time soon!

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