Got up early this morning to head to Fez (Fes) with 6 other girls from the volunteer group. We got to the train station just in time for the call to prayer at dawn. It was really stunning to hear the calls from Mosques all over Rabat in unison & in stereo. For 80DH we each got a ticket and waited in a coffee shop for our departure.
We were lucky to find a compartment to all sit in together for the ride out (and later the ride back). It is a 3 hour train ride, but we talked the whole time, all getting to know each other more personally.
We had hired a tour guide who was meeting us at 10:15am and headed to the Medina for a great time navigating narrow, cobblestone streets. There are 9400 streets in the Medina and 400,000 people live there. You might see a dark and narrow corridor where there are 4 doors, and that means there are 4 houses inside of varying size. Many families may live together and it is a real community - certainly not like my condominiums where we all dodge each other behind closing garage doors in order to not talk to each other. Ridiculous, I know.
We saw several mosques, even an Express Mosque where people go when they do not have much time to spare. We also went to the Tannery, where they give you fresh mint to smell because that area STINKS SO BAD. It is unlike anything I have ever smelled before and it was pretty nasty. I lasted long enough to take a photo and then headed back down to the gift shop. Then we stopped in a carpet store to get the standard sales pitch, but it was entertaining & there was tea. We waited there while our tour guide prayed at noon.
We were widing around and turned a corner, and suddenly we were in this cozy little restaurant. We had an amazing spread and the service was quick and efficient.
Then it was time to head back to the train station for the ride back. All in all this was a FABULOUS day. A great day with some great women, great food, great sights. I could not have asked for more. HAPPY NEW YEAR!