May 29, 2008

Riad...
I am staying in the medina of Fez, right in the heart of the old city. The riad is a traditional building with three indoor stories and two outdoor terraces. It is at the end of a long narrow alley, right and left, and under a building, and past a fountain. Then you get to the main door (above).
The first floor has the kitchen, a common sitting room, and two other sitting rooms (one for males and one for females?) where meals are served. There is a lot of natural light, as the centre is open to the outside (covered one story up from the rain).
The second floor is where my room is, and two toilets (a Turkish/squat one, and a Western one). The photo is of the room across from mine, which is almost the same as mine. The windows open up to let air into the room.
The third floor is more bedrooms. Climbing up another flight of stairs takes you to the first terrace, which is partly covered to keep the rain out of the main house. Up another small ladder and you get to the top terrace, with a view of the other rooftops and the city. There are a lot of satellite dishes in sight, part of the old walls and forts, and a few mosque towers (minaret). Below is a video from the top terrace around 4:00 in the afternoon when you can hear the afternoon call to prayer (muezzin). If you listen closely you might also be able to hear the birds, the sheep, and maybe a few cars.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

just like right out of a movie!

Stephen said...

I know! I kept thinking that as I looked around. You can almost imagine people jumping across roofs, spies, and secrets all around...

Anonymous said...

the whole city looks like a series of alley ways. how did you find your way to the house?

tim said...

"and two toilets (a Turkish/squat one, and a Western one)"

Okay I have to ask... what is a Turkish toilet? Is this the infamous hole in the ground type of thing?

The photos and videos are great.

Anonymous said...

How many ppl live in the house (ria)? Are there other westerners?

Stephen said...

The old city is really just a maze of alleys, and apparently even people who've lived here their whole lives sometimes get lost. Makes me feel a bit better. But to get to the house you just have to memorize the way, the landmarks, the turns, and the tunnels. There aren't any street names, which of course doesn't help anything!

Turkish toilets are the famed ones that are basically a hole in the ground, with a place to put your feet so that you can squat over the hole...

There are 9 people in the house (and a few family members living in the desert at the moment), plus three students at the moment.

Anonymous said...

lots of satellite dishes, something unexpected?