Hey y'all - I promise this is the last post for Morocco. There was just sooo much to see I had to break it down. And if you like freakishly amazing tile work, then you will like this post!
So, we set out to get a taxi to take us to Art Naji - the super awesome pottery factory in the industrial neighborhood of Fez. Remember how I was saying you get bombarded by dudes wanting to be your guide. Really, you gotta speak discreetly; if you are in certain parts of town and people even hear your normal discussions about where your trying to go and how you’re going to get there, the offers start coming in. You really have to be firm and just start moving. So, we decline and get in a cab and I kid you not one of the dudes actually got in a cab behind us and showed up just as we got there. You see, if he says he is our guide, and we buy anything, then he gets a piece of the pie. Sneaky, right? This just annoys me, cause if your going to take of piece of my pie, then I better want you to have it, right?
And that is not meant to sound dirty.
The dude below centers a HUGE chunk of clay (this is SO HARD to do) and works off the top and makes bowl after bowl from it. He said he makes about 40 a day.
This is all tile in the different stages. These will, upon being glazed, will be broken into chips to make the unbelievable mosaics you will see below.
All the bowls and such are hand painted. It’s crazy how steady and symmetrical they do it.
The dude below is taking the square tiles from above and chiseling them into pieces for the mosaic builder dude.
One of the mosaic table tops in process. They piece them on the ground and stick the morter on it and then flip it over and it’ll be nice and smooth.
And that, my friend, is how they make stuff like this.
Look here for closer detail and be astounded. Look how thin the grout lines are!!!!
Did that not completely blow your mind? Yeah, I know it did. ;)
On our last afternoon, we decided to try and follow a walking tour from a map we bought, since we figured what to do we have to lose cause here’s the thing - even if you don’t find what your looking for; some monument, university, sculpture etc, the getting there is part of the adventure.
Did I mention the little girl skipping down the alley, carrying in her arms a young rooster like it was her babydoll. Just hopping along.
Or the kids playing ball (narrow soccer?) in the alleys. Which you can be part of some of them and everybody has fun with that.
Or cruising along, and right there on a pile of garbage is a dead dog. Not many dogs in the medina, I asked. Dogs are not considered as clean as cats. So, if you touch one, you pretty much have too go and do your bathing all over again in order to be clean for prayer.
Did I mention how the call to prayer happens throughout the day from these towers. It’s crazy how used to it you get. I’d be interested to know what the words are, is it like a song, is it telling a story or just saying “now is the time to pray to God?” Just curious.
So, we are taking this walking tour, and cruised past this tower. After the pics above, I think this gives you a good perspective on the insanity of the tilework on this tower.
Cool park, yeah? The fountains were cool, they were staggered. So one section would fill up and then spill over into another and another and another.
If you read the post on Bruges, you know how we walked forever to find the folkart museum only to find it was closed for a union worker meeting. So, we walked and walked to find this museum in Fez, only to find that it was closed cause it was Tuesday. LAME! On our part, for not checking right?
This is a medersa (university) going back centuries. They would teach all manner of subjects here.
From the pics of the previous posts, you know the details are crazy.
Oooh, oooh check out the woodwork!
The area where you go in to pray.
Isn’t the Arabic written language beautiful? It looks like musical notes, so graceful looking.
Hahaha - I look like I have a green leafy headdress on! But the sunlight is nice, isn’t it.
Sunlight streaming down on the Bab el Boujloud. Pretty, isn’t it.
All in all, a fantastic trip. We saw some amazing things, had some bad times, had some great times, the whole gamut. I’ll never forget it. You should go too!
Take care, XXOO – Misha