I wanted to title this post, "What Makes Fes Fes" but that didn't sound right, so there you go.
Fes is by any measure an extraordinary city. For one, it is considered to be the largest car-free urban zone in the world. This may not sound like much, but when you realize that a hundred and fifty thousand people live in this specific area, it becomes clear just how big the area is.
|A view from the rooftop of our riad|
Fes is home to so many great doors, the simply amazing ones become commonplace.
|The common room at Riad Laayoun in Old Fes|
One of the many things I found fascinating about Fes was that half of it seems to exist underground. It's evolution over the centuries has given it an organic feel that is difficult to describe. Entry points from the outside take you through a time machine and down into a literal labyrinth of alleys and tunnels filled with all manner of shops. Crowds pack the spaces headed in every direction. Light from above makes an occasional appearance, and when you suddenly find yourself back on the outside, it's a bit like you can breath again even though you had no difficulty breathing to that point.
|Note the fellow on the right who is ready to encourage us to give his restaurant a try.|
There are several gates leading into (and out of, I guess) the city, all of them in the classic Moorish style, many with tile designs covering their surface.
Palais el Glaouis is a pretty spot to get away from the action on the streets and enjoy some of that intricate tile work.