Fes, Morocco

September 11, 2019 (one night)

When we found out the CTM bus from Chefchaouen to Fes was sold out and grand taxis were significantly more expensive than we previously experienced, we thought we hit the jackpot when we got a bus for 60 MAD (plus luggage for 30 MAD) for a 4 hour journey with Nejme Chanel from the Chefchauen bus terminal.The bus from Chefchaouen to Fes was NOT 4 hours. Nor was it air conditioned. There was a lady fighting a child for her seat, live chickens (who were denied boarding) and not a hint of deodorant around. It took a little more than 5 hours to get from Chefchauen to Fes.The bus stopped more than a local city bus but for longer so people could get their luggage. Avoid.A few Fes tips:- stay near the old medina. This is where you’ll likely want to spend your time and there are lots of charming riads nearby. You cannot drive in the old medina and lots of reviews we read complained that taxis couldn’t drive straight to the riad door. Be prepared to walk if you come to Fes. We stayed at Casa de Espanola which turned out to be one of the best value places we stayed on this trip. The location was ideal and it was clean and quiet.– most riads cannot be accessed by vehicle so prepare to walk a bit when you arrive in Fes. Make sure you either have a sim card or have downloaded google maps offline maps to navigate the alleyways.– the second you step out of your taxi, someone will grab your bags and offer to show you to your accommodations. Agree upon a price before accepting this service or politely decline as we did.– the medina is not as difficult to navigate as others have described and yes, google maps works in there.– the medina is incredibly safe. Yes, people want your money so don’t be flashy with your wallet and phone but I had no concerns (about a million times less worriesome about being robbed than South America) There are tourist police all over the medina, many in plainclothes. Other than pne man waving a glass shive at us, we had no concerns in the Fes medina.– we learned that top rated Tripadvisor restaurants aren’t necessarily good. Stick with eating in the little cafes in the medina (we got the BIGGEST roti ever for 10 MAD) and you’ll have a better meal.– we assumed it would be easy to book a desert tour from Fes but there were surprisingly few tour booking stands in and around the old Medina. We found one and were able to book a customized desert tour (no camel rides, vegan food) for a reasonable price but didn’t have any other places to price shop around to.

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