Once inside there is a twisting, turning maze of streets and shops and homes. I’ve already shown you the amazing things that lurk behind the anonymous walls, but I didn’t show you the tiny streets, the donkeys and mules everywhere (no cars allowed in the medina), and the press of humanity. The medina here in
In the heart of the medina is the tannery. I’ve never really smelled anything like it. Imagine a sewer back-up on a hot day, and then imagine that it’s been like that for hundreds of years in the same spot . . . yeah. The tannery has been in constant use since something like the 12th century, and all the work to tan the hides is still done the same way today. Urine and pigeon dung are used to tan the leather. Vats of natural dye stuff sit in the same vat they always have, ready for use. Everything is simply topped off as needed (and a good rain, or snow as they had they day before I arrived!) can make the place overflow into the streets.
There are also old caravansaries, hotels with rooms for the traders, stables for the beasts, and a large square for trading. Many of the finer riads have become either hotels, restaurants, or shops. We bought pottery, the kind
If you’re interested in the history of