One aspect of travelling in Morocco that I looked forward to was the food. I believe that sampling the food delights of a different country, and especially a totally different culture like Morocco, is high up on my list of reasons for travelling. Mind you, I am generally very conservative in my selection of food when not travelling, whether that is at home or eating out in a local restaurant. On our touring I think I surprised myself in what I sometimes selected to eat; I know I really surprised my wife and daughter. I was often quite the adventurous one, and now I have some wonderful memories, not to mention a desire to travel the more exotic destinations.
While we were staying in Fes we took a day trip to the village of Sefrou some 30km away. Added to the delight of our visit was the fact that it was market day. Farmers from around the district descended on the town with their produce. They set up their stalls everywhere in the streets. Over the next few days I will share some of the photos taken at the market. The fruit and vegetables on display were not only colourful – they looked delicious.
And they tasted great too – we bought some bananas and mandarins.
Wandering around the village of Sefrou near Fes in Morocco we happened upon this delightful little shop. I use the word “little” correctly. What you see in the photo is the whole shop. This is quite typical of small businesses in Morocco.
What is more, the owner is quite a specialist, selling mainly rings and bracelets. Quite an amazing array. Sadly, I can’t remember the price of any items in the shop.
And no – I didn’t buy my wife a special memento. (I did that in Nepal where I bought her a lovely necklace featuring an amethyst.)
On our wanderings through the medina of Fes in Morocco we saw many interesting shops and many fascinating things for sale. The range of foods was especially amazing. Some shops specialised, like the one shown above which stocked mainly dates and nuts, all beautifully arranged in bowls. We actually bought a few dates and enjoyed them along the way, especially on our bus trips and later on the train. In fact, we still had a handful left when we arrived home in Australia and were surprised we were able to bring them into the country; we had declared them at the airport.
The photos below show several other shops in Fes.
I found that the shop shown in today’s photo is something of a mystery to me. The dresses on sale in this shop are not your traditional or typical type of dress worn in Morocco.
So who was the target customer? Was it non-Moslem women? Are these aimed at the younger women trying to break free from traditional Islamic practices? (Our guide told me that this is increasingly an issue facing Morocco, especially in the workplace where traditional male only roles are being challenged by young, independent educated women.) Or perhaps these dresses are for tourists only or maybe also consular or NGO staff working in the area.
Whatever the reason, they certainly are glamorously beautiful.
I didn’t see many books or bookshops during our meanderings in various cities and towns of Morocco. We probably didn’t go to the right places.
This one in the medina in Fes was a small shop in comparison to most bookshops we have here in Australia. It was, however, rather large when compared to most retail outlets in this part of Morocco. Space in the medina is limited, so the owner of the shop crowded as much material as possible into the available space. It looks like a very efficient use of the shelves he had to store the material. It all looks neat and tidy to me.
As I couldn’t read the language I can’t say with certainty what the books were about, but some of the covers indicated to me that the emphasis was on Islamic materials almost exclusively. It’s probably the equivalent of our church run bookshops here in Australia.