Why Fez has become an ideal place to introduce yourself to Morocco:
Quietly and ever so subtly, a new generation of designers, restaurateurs, and hoteliers have brought a fresh dimension to Morocco’s most beguiling city—while staying true to its age-old traditions and singular spirit.
There are cities we love because they’re always in flux; shape-shifters whose primary currency is the new, the innovative, the unexpected. And then there are cities we love because they never seem to change: Year after year, trip after trip, they appear as we remember them, a memory obligingly and reassuringly coming to life before us.
For many years, Fez, Morocco’s ancient seat of learning, was a member of the latter group, memorable not for its new hotels or shops but for the reliable sameness of its picturesque medina, a series of threadlike streets that at every turn seem to burrow, warren-like, deeper and deeper into the earth and into the past. You went to Marrakech, 240 miles to the southwest, to shop its concept boutiques and stay in one of its many luxury properties; you went to Fez to pretend you were still visiting the Morocco of Paul Bowles, when donkeys, not motorcycles or cars, were the preferred means of conveyance. Or of Edith Wharton, whose 1920 book In Morocco documented her travels there. “Nothing endures in Islam, except what human inertia has left standing and its own solidity has preserved from the elements,” wrote Wharton of Fez’s particular palimpsestic quality, its varied but harmonious sense of aesthetics, each enriched by the city’s earliest settlers: Berbers, Africans, Persians…[FULL STORY]