Fez’s winding, extensive medina is a UNESCO world heritage site. Because we were staying in the city for just two nights on our way out of Morocco, we arranged for a guide, Adbul, to show us around.
Adbul explained that each district within the medina has a mosque, hamam (public bath), school, market, and water fountain, so theoretically, someone might live within a district without ever needing to leave it. While this probably doesn’t happen so often anymore, Abdul’s grandfather apparently didn’t leave the larger Fez medina until he was buried.
Cars can’t enter the medina, so much of the transport is by mule or donkey. Adbul pointed out some hand-pushed metal carts with rubber wheels as being the more “modern” transport option, but expressed a preference for the mules.
We saw an incredible amount in just a few hours, from a camel’s heads for sale in the market to the equipment used to create the crafts sold throughout Morocco. And of course, lots of grand mosques, though from the doorways only. In Morocco, only muslims can enter mosques.
We stayed in a riad (fancy Moroccan house, converted to a hotel) just a little outside of the medina, and it was probably the loveliest place we stayed in Morocco. (This is a high bar. All of the places we stayed in Morocco were lovely.)
The man who greeted us at the riad and helped us throughout our stay has a son, Mohammad, who is exactly one day younger than Theo. As he watched Theo crazily cavorting around the riad after a long train ride, he kept commenting on how similar they are. He showed us photos of his son, and sure enough, the second photo showed his son posing in a super-hero pose, just like Theo in the photo below:
A key lesson that I’m going to take away from this trip is that four-year-old kids the world over are all kind of super, and all kind of crazy.