Unlike its cosmopolitan counterpart, Marrakech, with its throng of tourist groups, Fes maintains a genial mixture of sightseers and everyday existence. Randomly selecting the left of two parallel narrow thoroughfares, I passed a make-shift Butchers with a young, blood-splattered boy determinedly cutting the tongue from the severed head of a cow. Wandering down the lane I passed plastic containers piled high with sticky black dates, strings of leather sandals hanging, sizzling doughnut vendors and narrowly avoid a lumbering donkey laden with rusted gas canisters. Carts of oranges, hand-hammered copper cauldrons, intricate brass lanterns, silver tea sets and deep-fried sardine stalls all line the pulsating veins of the souk.
Dinner begins with a jostle and squeeze into tightly packed, street side tables where hot, syrupy mint tea is efficiently produced. A waiter weaves expertly down the street from an unknown kitchen carrying a plate of steaming Couscous, vegetables balanced on top and dribbled with rich, aromatic cinnamon and sultana T’fia.