September 11, 2002 – Meknes – Fes




Today I am leaving Meknes for Fes by train at 10:30am. Using trains in Morocco is very easy, everything is well indicated at the train stations with boards showing all the train stations through Morocco and the number of trains linking cities (timetables as well).


On the train, I meet two Irish living in Scotland, they are also in Morocco for 3 weeks but we do not travel in the same category, they privilege high standard hotels while I am used to none star hotel… But as I see everyone seems to come in Morocco for 3 weeks, nearly all the persons I met during the trip where there for around 3 weeks, that sounds a good deal to visit this great country.


We arrive in Fes very quickly less than 45 minutes after our departure from Meknes. The city seems to be pretty big and above all in a very undulating landscape. The train station is located in the Ville nouvelle but it is really easy to walk to Fes El Jedid (ancient mellah and royal palace). I hesitated about the hotel but the first visit was the good one, hotel Glacier near the royal palace (half distance from the Train station and the medina or the other companies bus station).


The Hotel Glacier is very small but has a certain charm. For 30 DH , I didn’t get the best room in the hotel but it was enough for me and for nearly 3 Euros you can not have everything!!! Outside the place I just look to see the places where I can buy water or soft drinks and above all places where I can eat something because I am hungry. Just after healing my stomach, I just begin the visit of the city by walking in Merenides street and after in Sharia Moulay Suleiman. These 2 streets were full of people because of all the shops on both sides of the streets and it is only a beginning…


After some hesitations about my location on a map, I have to ask the help of an orange juice seller who tells me that I am just near the royal palace and in a few minutes I will see the army museum on the side of a hill. And that’s true, I recognize the fortress and the Hotel des Mérénides. From this point, I have a great view on the medina, Fes El Bali. I will come back tonight just to see the spectacle of a sunset on this old part of the town.

Fes El Bali


Then I just walk down towards Bab Guissa through the cemetery that covers nearly all the hill. I am just preparing myself to enter one of the most famous medina in Morocco. The hassle of locals becomes greater but most of the time a simple “La Shukraan (No thank you)” is enough. They all want to be your guide pretending that you will get lost all alone in these little alleys but that’s really what I want just being lost here and finding my way out just by wandering from one alley to another. I don’t want to follow the usual path in the medina that many tourists used to visit the place in a tight schedule, I have time so let’s enjoy the place at my own pace and be surprise by what I will discover.



After 3 times looking at my map and asking for local help I finally find the Nejjarine square where the museum of wood arts and traditions is located.


The arrival on the square is so great, there are few people here and you can enjoy the very well restored museum from the outside. Inside the museum the pieces are well displayed with a legend and a beautiful light.



The visit of the museum is possible on the 3 floors, you end the visit on the roof where you have a nice view on the city rooftops and you can even have a tea or coffe there thanks to a café on the terrace. You can also admire all the pictures depicting the restoration of this old caravanserail that was a hotel but also a warehouse for all the merchants and their goods.



Hopefully I just arrived before the tourist invasion but as the gatekeeper tells me, there are less people visiting the museum since the increase in the entrance price (from 10 to 20 DH) but it really worth the visit.


I spend the entire afternoon wandering in the medina without a goal just feeling the ambiance and the magic of the place. Just after 5pm, I was going back to the hotel when I meet the 2 italians who just arrived from Meknes this afternoon. We decide to meet again at 8pm to have the dinner together.


En route for the hotel, I taste some local food because it is now time for dinner and many sellers in the streets propose various cheap meal and many of them wnt me to discover new tastes and most of them were definitely great food.


Just before our rendezvous in front of the royal palace, I quickly go to the top of the hill to see the sunset on the medina, great!!! Then we decide to find a restaurant where we will enjoy the evening. We found one just behind the corner where we met this afternoon. We have veggie tajines and an omelette berbčre (eggs with tomatoes on the top). We talk a lot and Ali the son of the restaurant owner came by and we talked a lot with him about Morocco and his business (sale of dates). Maybe Emanuele and Manuela will travel with him to Rissani…


Around 11pm, we just go back to our hotels, they are at the Hotel du Commerce next to the palace. Tomorrow we will visit a village together.


Main expenses of the day :

Train Meknes – Fes: 16.50 DH

Hotel Glacier: 30 DH

Entrance of the museum: 20 DH

Drinks (water, soft drinks, tea…) + evening meal: 70 DH





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Useful info

(Hotels, Transportation timetables…)


D1 : Luxembourg – Paris – Casablanca

D2 : Casablanca – Rabat

D3 : Rabat – Meknes

D4 : Meknes – Volubilis – Meknes

D5 : Meknes - Fes

D6 : Fes

D7 : Merzouga

D8 : Merzouga – Tinehrir

D9 : Tinehrir – Ouarzazate – Marrakesh

D10 : Marrakesh

D11 : Marrakesh – Imlil

D12 : Imlil – Toubkal refuge

D13 : Refuge – 4167m –Tizi Ouanoums

D14 : Tizi Ouanoums – Amsouzert

D15 : Amsouzert – Azib Likemt

D16 : Azib Likemt – Tacheddirt

D17 : Tacheddirt – Imlil – Marrakesh

D18 : Marrakesh – Essaouira

D19 : Essaouira – El Jadida – Tangier

D20 : Tangier

D21 : Tangier – Chefchaouen

D22 : Chefchaouen – Casablanca

D23 : Casablanca – Paris – Luxembourg




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Last update : December 2002

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