Salaam! It’s Esha and I’m writing this Yak after our second day in Fes, the oldest city in Morocco. After a really restful sleep in my hotel room with Hannah and Sydney, we woke up to our usual breakfast of Milwi (bread), jam, butter, and more bread.
After breakfast, we walked to the Jewish Quarter in Fes. During the Crusades, Jewish people escaped to Morocco, where they built lives in tight-knit, small communities. This morning, we visited a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery, which was breathtaking.
On the walk back, we stopped by the King’s Palace in Fes, and it reminded me so strongly of Agrabah and Princess Jasmine’s castle from Aladdin. Back at the hotel, our trip leaders, Shino and Badr, prepared us for one of our biggest adventures yet – a scavenger hunt across the city of Fes. We split into three teams: Hannah, Hadley, Philip, and Joao with Badr and Birney, Sydney, Mikkel and I with Shino. The third team was the teachers. Part of the scavenger hunt was to run around Fes and take pictures of some of the most notable sites like the leather tannery and the Madersa where scholars from all over Africa would come to study Islam and the Qu’ran. The other part of the scavenger hunt was to prepare for our fast tomorrow by buying items for our pre-dawn meal. We decided to fast tomorrow to get a sense of what observing Ramadan would feel like. The scavenger hunt was a great way to practice our Arabic and bargaining skills, as well as navigate independently across the city. In the end, however, the teachers ended up winning. 🙁
We finished the day back at the hotel and enjoyed a dinner of good food, bonding, and jokes. Tomorrow, we will be waking up at 4am for our pre-dawn meal and travel to Chefchaouen (the blue city). I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Chefchaouen and fasting with all my friends! Crazy to think that the trip is more than halfway over!