I didn’t want to leave the beautiful blue town of Chefchaouen and upon arriving in Fez I knew why. It was about 2:30pm when I arrived in Fez. I stepped into the street and immediately a million taxi drivers came up to me asking me where I needed to go or telling me they can take me to a cheap place to stay. I let them know that I had a place to stay and just needed to get to “BAB JDID” (the gate my hostel was near). They let me know they can take me but only for 50DH ($6.25). I let them know I was not paying that much. I then saw 4 other backpackers not sure where they were going so I got with them and we let the taxi driver know where we needed to go and set a price 10DH each ($1.25). The cab driver assures me that where he is dropping us off is the right gate. The 5 of us get off pay the cab and he drives away. One of the couples is whisked away by locals to show them a place to stay and the other couple easily found their hotel. I look at the name of the gate and realize this is not the gate I need to be at. I had no fucking clue where I was or where I needed to go. Many people came up to me and would not leave me alone. To make it easy instead of walking around I just stopped a cab and asked them to take me to “BAB JDID” I paid 20DH ($2.50). After about an hour of drama I was finally at my hostel. This was not a good start….
I then met an awesome couple Rachel and Joel that were about to head off to explore a bit, I asked if I could tag along and they said yes. With a map in hand and a plan in mind we stepped out of the hostel into the crazy streets of Fez. Minutes into our exploration some guy comes up to us and lets us know we need a guide to get around the Medina. We kindly let him know we do not need one and that we will be fine with out him. He refuses to leave and lets us know he will follow us to make sure we are okay and do not get lost. We asked him kindly again, but he refused. At that point he would not stop following us around and got a bit hostile. In the end we did manage to loose him and spent a few hours wondering around the Medina. Through out the entire time people just seemed extra pushy about selling what ever it is they were selling to us. A few hours in and I already hated Fez.
We arrived back at the hostel and I took a seat in the lobby area. I look across from me and I see familiar faces, however these faces are not people I have ever met, but people I had been following online for a while. I say their names, but they look at me confused… I then say, “Get Up & Globe” and one of them said what did you say? We then laughed and loved the fact that with out much planning managed to bump into each other. I was in fact meeting Skott & Shawna of “Get Up & Globe”. The rest of the night we all spent them up stairs in the terrace chatting away. It was also on this terrace this night that I met my 3 Spanish girls (more on them on my next few post).
The next day was smooth thanks to the guide we had who showed us all around the medina and took us to many interesting shops. It was part of a small tour the hostle offered. Even though it was smooth I was not loving the city… it was so crazy & chaotic and as much as I love that in cities I visit I couldn’t get myself to like it here. Later that night we went out for dinner and that too was a daunting task. There was nothing around our hostel so we needed to catch a cab to the main gate and no one wanted to pick us up they all kept saying no. We finally got one and made our way to the gate. After being harassed by many restaurant owners we found a nice place and had a dinner.
We spent our last full day in Fez doing more sight seeing and walking around. It too turned out to be a grueling day dealing with touts and more people trying to scam us. In the end we thought for dinner we would explore a different side of Fez and have a nice dinner for our last night. Well that too was a hot mess. We visited an area that according to a guidebook is full of great restaurants. After waiting for ever to get a cab to drive us out there we did finally get dropped off and walked for over an hour trying to find a nice place to eat with not a single place in sight that looked appetizing. We were all a bit upset again. We decidde to have dinner at the 1st hole in the wall we stumbled upon when we 1st got there. The dinner was not the greatest cold rice with decent bread and chicken. Yet again I wasn’t happy with Fez. We did however know that down the street from where we were was a McDonalds. To make up for everything we treated ourselves to a McFlurry and damn it was well worth it. That was sadly the highlight of my day.
The next morning we all said our goodbyes and all happy to be leaving Fez and on to other destinations. Lucky for Skott & Shawna they were heading to Chefchouen a city I spent 8 nights at and loved every minute of. As for me I was taking a night bus to Marrakech. In the end my time in Fez was not that bad, but I did not like it at all. It was nice to meet so many amazing people, but the city itself made me hate it. I didn’t like the people, I didn’t like being ripped off many times, I didn’t like being taken advantage by cab drivers, I didn’t like being treated horribly when I would say no to someone. I know these are all things that can happen anywhere and are all small minor details, but I can’t help it. They rubbed me the wrong way and because of them I hate Fez. I do know though we can’t love every place we visit. Some we’ll love and some we’ll hate… life goes on! So now I’m asking you have you ever hated a city, because of minor things that just added up? Am I just over reacting? Maybe I never gave it a chance?