Travelblog: Maroc the Kasbah Part 2

By the way Kasbah = Castle in Arabic.

Anyways, after bargaining at night in Marrakech with snake charmers (live cobras!!!), monkeys, lamb spleen (tasty), escargot (tasty), and an old man who had great deals on spices while we stiffed black cumin (Hardcore Vicks vapor rub drug basically, splendid); I would travel on the decent train system for 7 hours from Marrakech to Fes.
I would see Casablanca, Rabat, and Meknes on the way with the train, while seeing toilets that emptied onto train tracks, open windows on speeding trains, weird entitled British lady, changing Moroccan clothes with Casablanca & Rabat, and almost no A/C on the train (the way back was better).  The landscape in Morocco changes forever and reminds me of California with fertile & dry ground ripe for Henna plants, Melons & Watermelons(best), and some of the best orange juice you've ever had. I love it overall.

Eventually, I would arrive in Fes at the hostel Funky Fes. During the first night, I met a couple, one Bermudian and the other Indian, but Muslim. Against my better judgment, I followed them with a Moroccan guide from the medina who showed us a pricey food place and a place to get some decent saffron cloth. Of course we had to tip him, but live and learn with the exposure. The next day, we would go on a walking tour where we would chat with a Venezuelan, Mexican and two Brazilian ladies. Thus, it was a gaggle of Spanish, Portuguese, French and practicing Arabic. On the tour we saw another Quran school, tombstone calligraphy, the oldest university in the world (which I would later go with my new Muslim friend to pray - the most peaceful time I had in Morocco), more Argan oil, a wonderful lady who showed us the elaborate process of using cactus silk and real natural colors (blue = indigo, saffron = yellow, henna = orange, annatto = red, mint = green and so on). Her personality was a great mix of Eastern and Western humor as she studied in the university. I hope she goes far. Moving on from that we also saw the tanneries with most likely inhumane practices of dying the leather in vats that contained pigeon droppings. However, the leather was great quality, yet cheap as I would purchase some goat leather jackets while others got camel leather purses.

After that, we would explore Fes again and get haggled and harassed (somewhat more than Marrakech, so be wary of this - be careful when traveling as you may get overwhelmed), quite intensely around Bab Boujoluad when looking for food. We found are way by not joining such a polite young boy at his hotel and going to a regular restaurant instead which resulted one of the weirdest waiters ever while discussing the show the Wire -Venezuelan guy praised it, I officially think Venezuelans are awesome. During this time, we also had another American who looked rastafarian (as the locals called him) and had been traveling on sailboats from port to port -new way to travel? He would also discuss the wonders of Moroccan hashish with us and on the next day as my friends left, I would simply relax before the big leave.

Lastly, I would have a cab switcheroo (they do that for convenience) on the way to the airport through modern Casablanca. While I had learned a few ideas about Casablanca through the Moroccan film CasaNegra (go see it!), I found out why nobody visited as it is much too modern and doesn't have the ancient charm of Fes and Marrakech which are both 1000 years old. Overall, I recommend Morocco, especially if you can grab a prayer in the oldest university in the world, for how unique it is compared to many Westernized countries/cities I've been to. Be wary of the haggling, but do go to the Sahara and enjoy the confusion of Morocco.