Mark down Fez's medina as one of those places that I'm glad to have visited, but not sure if I'll return to. On one hand it's colourful, energetic, and exotic. On the other hand it's chaotic, overwhelming, and claustrophobic. We spent a few days wandering (and sleeping) in the medina. I guess I had a bit of a romanticized idea of the busy markets and leather tanneries. The reality was harsh. "Guides" were constantly popping up, trying to lead us to places we didn't even know if we wanted to go to. Likely due to Ramadan, many people seemed on edge. The medina's walls were high and the passageways were narrow. I kept waiting for it to open up into a main square (like in Chefchauoen) but we didn't find one. Also, people (as we found everywhere in Morocco) were very resistant to having their photos taken, hence the lack of portraits in this post.
However, I would still recommend it on anyone's Moroccan itinerary. Fez seems like a key piece of Morocco's puzzle and I'm glad we got to spend a bit of time with it. We stayed at Riad Mikou - a really beautiful spot in the medina owned by twin brothers. They were so kind to us and frequently offered to share meals with us. One of the brothers picked us up from the medina's main entrance on our first day and also helped us catch a bus on our way out. It was so nice to come back dirty and dusty from the medina to their beautiful guesthouse. I also want to give Cafe Clock a little shout-out. It is another oasis in the medina. Their servers are laid back and really open to chatting. The food was delicious and the whole vibe was just awesome. Lastly, they serve camel burgers so you can cross that off your bucket list!
Coming up next: the Sahara desert!