Fabric for sale Lantern hanging in a museum Door to the palace in Fez Covered passageway in the medina



@LauraAkaLemon and I have just returned from two weeks backpacking round Morocco. We found the country to be fascinating, with its combination of French and Arabic cultures seemingly working in harmony. The summer heat was massive, with the hours around lunchtime mainly spent sheltering somewhere cool or sitting on a train between cities.

We flew to Casablanca and almost immediately took a disliking to it. Just like the guidebooks say, the city is a semi-industrial, non-touristy place and doesn’t appear welcoming as a first destination. So after a 24 hour stopover and a visit to the beautiful and enormous Hassan II mosque, we left to take the train to Fez.

The train rides we took across the country were pretty good. They seemed to mostly run on time and turned into a social event, with families using them to move house, visit relatives and to work, there were plenty of chances to use our limited french and arabic to talk to the other passengers, share food and stories.

A few hours after leaving Casablanca, we arrived in Fez. The city was founded in a valley between two hills and gradually expanded out over a thousand years to fill the whole area. Now that the growth has slowed, you will find a city of a million people living down nine thousand streets, many of which have no names. This caused us to get lost pretty quickly before we found the riad we were staying in.