May 6, Sahara Desert to Fes, Morocco.
First off, we did not plan much for Fes as we considered it barely as a mid point to Chefchaouen. But we were fortunate enough to spend a whole night at the medina and try to get a taste of what the old city and once the capital of Morocco is like.
Ivan and Viona, the Indonesian couple, together with two girls from the other tour who studied in France, joined us in the taxi to Fes.
The taxi ride was about 6 hours, where we stopped for lunch and at Ifrane, the rich European style region of Morocco, for some quick pictures.
We arrived at the CTM ticket office near the Blue Gate to buy tickets from Fes to Chefchaouen and from Chefchaouen to Casablanca. The buses are always full, so it is always a good idea to buy your tickets as early as possible. Baggage fee is paid for on that day. We were lucky enough to buy the last two tickets of the 8am bus to Chefchaouen. Ivan and Vionna didn’t have enough cash to buy the tickets so we just lent them and meet later at the Blue Gate to return the money.
After getting the tickets, the driver helped us get a metered taxi to the riad. After a while, he found out the riad is actually very close to the Blue Gate and offered to drive us to the pick up point as the riad staff suggested. We expressed our gratitude and surprise of the metered taxi he found us. He said “here is not Marrakech!” Looks like Marrakech is notorious for tricking tourists and hated by people of other cities. An old man sent from the riad guided us to the riad and asked for 30Dh, which was a surprise. But the allies of the medina is really a lot more complicated than that of Marrakech. We were left with no choice but to pay and checked in our riad.
We enjoyed the riad’s shower after having no shower for 2 days in the desert. Then we went to the Blue Gate to meet up Ivan and Vionna before starting to walk the medina. We bought a yummy sandwich with minced beef at a store where the locals buy their food. We just ate as we walked and shopped for souvenirs, that included magnets, ceramics, and leather shoes.
On our way back to riad at night, there were still young men hanging on the street and telling us “it is closed!” Again, they are the same old tricks they use to get some pennies from the tourists. Though worried, we finally got our way to the riad with the help of Google Map, and called it a day.
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