Vacation to the Rif Mountains, Part IV

Tetouan, MoroccoThis is the final installation in a series of posts for a recent vacation trip to the Rif region of Northern Morocco.
Tetouan is surrounded on all sides by limestone mountains, and low clouds often linger about the city. The royal palace, at the center of Place Hassan II, is within the medina; and, interestingly enough, some surrounding shops share a common wall with royal buildings1.

Tetouan, Morocco
This is one of the many gates to get into the medina; I forget the name, but it is just across from the artisana school/museum.

Tetouan, Morocco
This is one of the most magnificent traffic circles I have ever seen. Andalusian music melodically pours from the water spray. While sitting at a cafe to people watch and enjoy the music, a Moroccan elder sat down next to me and started to talk to me. Quickly realizing that I didn't understand Spanish from my grimace, he switched to Arabic and was surprised that I was able to hold a short conversation with him. He invited me to have stay with his family the next time I visit Tetouan .. enshallah.

Tetouan, Morocco
Cats abound in Morocco, and there's always one to greet or say good-bye to a traveler. This one, just like the cat in Chaouen, waved to me as I made my way to the bus station.

Fes, Morocco
Leather tannery cooperative in Fès. The place smelled awful from the still bloodied hides of lamb/sheep, goat, cow, horse and camel. Touring the leather cooperative is informative: lamb leather is the softest (good for jackets), while camel hide is the most durable (great for seat cushions).

Tetouan, Morocco
Yellow-coloured leather is much more difficult to dye than other colors. Instead of soaking in vats, the yellow colour is derived from olive oil infused with saffron. Oddly, the price of red vs. yellow slippers are the same. Perhaps I can convince my program manager to move me to Fès to help the cooperative with business development! When in Fès, be sure to stop by Terrasse la maison des Tanneurs: 2, Chouara Blida Dar Dbagh.

1. Imagine the property value! Owner: "Yes, I have a duplex available but you'll be sharing the common wall with the King ... is that ok?"
tags: ..
another point of view ...

Anonymous Anonymous

Wow, great photos, especially the blue ones for the evil eye.
That is so interesting that the elder man just started talking to you like that.
Is it normal? Were you surprised?

Nice that you got a vac. - don't worry, traveling 1st class is often a drag, because you always feel like you are "on stage". I never relax. I would like to travel a low key style and fit in to the local places more than being in the hotel prison compound sometimes.

You are connecting with real people, and that is priceless!

Blogger Nam LaMore

PERI: thanks for such kind words!
In Moroccan culture, it is considered rude not to greet everyone in the room when you come in, even when you don't know anyone in the room. The people here are so friendly that some of their basic questions are considered rude or too personal to westerners, such as marriage status, kids, etc.

The last time I was on a 1st class flight was 5 yrs ago as a free upgrade on a trip to Asia-Pacific. I really enjoyed the meals! But I completely agree: "traveling 1st class is often a drag, because you always feel like you are "on stage"."

Anonymous Beth Johnson

So how much do you think a duplex with the King goes for?

BTW: nice pictures.

Anonymous cindy flemming

Did you throwup while visiting the leather tannery? I was sick for a couple of days after visiting a tannery in spain. I'll NEVER go again!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Tetouan Property

From this description I can see that you can have a wonderful vacation in Morocco and in Tetouan. Morocco brims over with contrast, colour and mystery and all you can do is simply catch your breath in wonder. It has a timeless quality that no longer exists in the modern world.

speak up!

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