Daily Archives: 20 January, 2011

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The One With Europe ’11 Day 2 – An Evening In Fez

An Evening in Fez

The day was spent mostly on traveling from London to Fez.

It was remarkably nice morning out in Notting Hill. We did a big breakfast at Mike’s Cafe, and then popped across the street for The Travel Bookshop, made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in the movie Notting Hill. Never had I been so tempted to shop so much during a holiday. It would be rather silly to drag my books all over the place so I planned to return on my way home.

The journey from London into Fez has been nothing short of being remarkable. Some quick notes to be expanded later on:
– Never had I seen a budget airlines so determined to make money out of its passengers. Incremental revenue is one thing, but to trawl the aisle selling one product after another really irked me
– Had an insightful time at Fez airport. Let’s just say the Moroccan didn’t put much store to efficiency. It was also a tale of woes for the overbearing lady who lost her somewhat demented husband at the airport. The officers didn’t have to laugh so much
– Everyone jabbered in French, Arabic and Berber (the local language). Not that I could tell any difference. It just felt strange and rather overwhelming at times
– The journey from the airport, a good 30 minutes, took us through the French district, the “new” Fez and finally the Fez Medina. It was literally like stepping back in time as modern buildings and sweeping boulevards gave way to cramped alleyways and dark corners
– The Moroccan men like to loiter. A lot. They were literally standing everywhere in the street.
– Our accommodation, Ryad Alya, was amazing. Everything you saw in Sex and the City was real. Never had I been so amazed by a hotel.
– The staff was amazing too, particularly one local chap named Mahmoud, who is a medical student in the local hospital, speaks good English, loves sport and always up for a good cup of tea. That he is good looking of courses helped with the ladies
– The locals loved their tea; generously sweetened with sugar and spiced with mint. At last count I had four glasses of those sweetness before bedtime
– Dinner was at a lavish restaurant nearby. At EUR28 per person it was expensive, but it was an euthentic Moroccan experience; great food, impeccable service (despite the language barrier), live classic music, all within a cozy courtyard of a dar.

It was late nigh before we finally hit the bed. Fez in the daylight will be a photographer heaven. I can’t wait.