Bold colours and intricate patterning adorn the structures of Moroccan architecture: these are the images of Morocco that will forever stay imprinted in your memory even when all others have long gone.
Labyrinths of winding streets and narrow corridors greet you as you enter the Old Medina of Fes: and I sure hope you either have a guide or a really, amazingly good map. If not you’ll be taking your life - okay a bit dramatic - rather you'll be taking your chances of leaving the medina on the same day into your own hands.
The quintessential postcard-picture of Fes – if there’s one thing you’ll remember from your visit to the city, it’ll be the smell of these tanneries. While I didn’t think the smell was anything near as terrible as most travel sites made it out to be (although visiting during the summer months may prove to be a different experience), the sprigs of mint offered upon your arrival are a welcome gift. Be prepared to do some barging as you leave the tanneries through the co-op store. There are pluses and minuses about buying from the co-op. On the one hand, you know the leather is quality and genuine - unlike what you may sometimes be sold by a cunning street vendor (it happened to a friend) - although you should expect to pay a little more here than in the souks. Still, if leather is what you’re after, the pieces are all much cheaper than anything you can find at home. My personal favourite are the babouche slippers – without a doubt the most comfortable (and bright) pair of slippers I’ve ever owned!
University of al-Karaouine
It’s easy to be taken into another time when you visit one of the oldest universities in the world. Not typically flourishing with tourists, the sense of knowledge and serenity fills you as you traverse its many floors and stairways. The floors are all situated around a main courtyard, and while many prefer to limit their explorations to this square, the true sense of wonder comes from discovering the stairwells and tiny rooms (most of which are open) on the upper levels.
The souks run along the labyrinth that is the narrow, winding streets of the Old Medina. Here you’ll find jewellery, leather, ceramics and food (as well as your dime a dozen ‘authentically-made-in-china’ souvenirs). What I love about the souks in Fes above those in other cities such as Marrakesh is that, although many tourist traps do still abound, the marketplace is still truly used by the locals; meaning that you can secure more authentic food and wares than the more tourist-aimed souks.