June 10, 2009

Day 143 : Fes

We only had a few hours left in Fes this morning before weI hopped on a bus to Chefchaouen. One of the main reason I wanted to come to Morroco was to see the Tanneries in Fes. I had seen plenty of images, but wanted to experience the sights and the smells in person.
Yesterday while we was wandering around Fes I discovered that during the day local 'guides' are camped out around the entire perimeter of the Tanneries, constantly offering their services and information. We wanted to avoid the hassle and the crowds, so we decided to wake up early this morning in an attempt to get a more genuine experience of the Tanneries. I must admit - It was the best decision I've made in a long time, for a couple of reasons...
1) The streets of Fes are amazing in the early morning. They lack the people, the animals, the noise, the merchandise, and the food that makes them so alive during the day. Instead, a 6AM stroll in Fes presents an entirely different space lit by the eerie, early morning light.
2) The Tanneries are equally amazing in the early morning (if you can find them)! We spotted a tiny little sign with the word Tannerie scribbled on it and decided to follow. From there my nose took over. I had heard stories about how bad the tanneries smell, and yes, the are all true. Do NOT let this discourage you from visiting!
Early morning eeriness...

As we entered the alleyway that leads to the Tanneries a Moroccan Man that appeared to work in the Tannery offered his help. We decided to follow his lead, assuming that we'd have to buy a bag and a wallet from him later on. Little did we know he was going to take us on an amazing adventure...So it was 6:30AM and Oliver and I are the only Non-Moroccan Tannery Workers in the entire complex. For the next hour or so we would be taken on an incredible journey winding in and out of buildings, vats, and tannery workers...

I was about to ask (in my broken french) if many visitors ever fall into the vats, but...
I soon got my answer! Poor Oliver...but he still has a smile on his face!
I recently came across this link on Pruned which provide me with some insight on the future of Fes and the tanneries: Holcim Awards Africa Middle East. Maybe it's an answer to my 'Urban Dumpster' find in post 142?

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful... Is this for... dyeing?