Fes the Bittersweet

Fes was bittersweet. You know, it just didn’t click. It wasn’t the city, it was me…I could go like this for hours.
Long story short, I hated that place with all my heart.
I feel uneasy writing about it. I’m this kind of traveler who usually grows to like every place s/he visits. Sure, not every spot will charm you. But most of them will have this something you can cling to. This something that will make you understand the place, indulge in it, learn it. It can be its vibe, a cool street art scene, underground bars, great street food, whatever you imagine.
I fell in love with numerous cities. Many of them aren’t typically pretty. Not many people would call them charming and I fell for them head over heels. Yerevan is the best example. Or Belgrade. Or Bratislava.
This record made me think that I will never be really disappointed by a destination. I was sure there will always be this magnificent detail that I will find and that will save the place in my eyes.
Fes was where I lost this belief. Fes was where I found nothing.
I was angry both at the city and at myself. I was full of rage. I yelled at street vendors. I refused to spend any money if it wasn’t a necessity. I spent my evenings locked in my hotel room. I cut my stay short and escaped to Chefchaouen.
Fes seemed to be a jungle, a hectic maze of narrow, dark, dirty streets where everyone is more than happy to scam you.
I walked through the old medina. I saw the markets. I saw the famous Koranic schools. I watched how the dyers work. I made me way through the Jewish neighbourhood. I saw what I came for. I felt no joy.
I saw travelers in love with Fes. I read blog posts depicting Fes as a marvelous city, as a must see.
Yet I couldn’t see it for myself. There was no spark.
And that’s okay.
Fes is not for me and I’m not for Fes. Still, I don’t regret going there. Being truly disappointed by a place for the first time is part of travel education. It happens to the best of us.
Even being under the weather didn’t stop me from taking photos.
So here it is. Fes. The city I have never grown to love.
Have you ever been there? What were your impressions? I would love to hear them.

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