This morning, we leave the coast and move a couple of hours inland to Fez driving past sweeping fields, rolling countryside, and a large cork forest, Morocco’s main source of cork oak, over 120,000 acres of oak cork trees. It is a beautiful place for a quiet place for a walk. The cork is harvested every 9 years allowing time for the tree to form new layers of cork and restore its protective barrier, no tree is cut down to harvest the cork. This simple fact makes cork harvesting exceptionally sustainable, leading to a unique balance between people and nature.
A lively market in the Berber city of Khemisset drew us in for a look and a cup of coffee before continuing on to Fes.
A nice divided highway led from Khemisset into Fes, traversing flat farmland and rolling hills; this is a mineral-rich farming area producing grapes, olives, apricots, peaches, plums, prunes and almonds.
Entering Fes we drove to a hilltop viewpoint for a panoramic view of Fes and it’s tightly clustered 9th and 14th century medinas that we will visit tomorrow.
On a back street in Fes we stopped to visit a local ceramics workshop where the intricate art of pottery and mosaics are learned, very labor intensive but with beautiful results. I was so tempted but the shipping cost would have buried us.
We settled into our road for the next 3 nights, a gorgeous, gorgeous 300 year old home that we had all to ourselves. It was a magical place, right out of the Arabian Nights. Here’s a teaser photo, stay tuned for more on our lodgings in a later post.