We spent the morning exploring (with some local guides) the old Medina of Fes. Medina means city but with the implication that it is the Arab part of the old city. In the case of Fes this is an old (14th century) walled city, designed in the days before motorized transport and therefore only suitable for people and donkeys with the streets only 6 feet wide and often covered by buildings. We did the obligatory stop at a carpet shop and thankfully Nina and I were able to resist before moving finally to the highlight of the morning, a visit to a leather shop that overlooks the famous tannery of Fes. The tannery is a small courtyard, surrounded by 3 and 4 story buildings. The courtyard is entirely composed of stone pots about the size of a small hot tub. In these tubs the hides of sheep, goats, cows and camels go from smelly fur covered skins to raw leather. The tannery has been in operation here for 1000 years and the process does not seem to have changed much. The ingredients for the process are limestone, pigeon poop (ammonia), water and men.
In the afternoon we visited a nearby village and in particular one family where the grandmother of the family is 91 and the family home is a nicely converted limestone cave. The grandmother has lived in this same house/cave since she was married at 13.