• Photo: kirych/Shutterstock

Fez

Fez is one of the world’s most spectacular city-museums and an exotic medieval labyrinth—mysterious, mesmerizing, and sometimes overwhelming. Passing through one of the babs (gates) into Fez el-Bali is like entering a time warp, with only the numerous satellite dishes installed on nearly every roof as a reminder you’re in the 21st century, not the 8th. As you maneuver through crowded passages illuminated by shafts of sunlight streaming through thatched roofs of the kissaria (covered markets), the cries of "Balek!" ("Watch out!") from donkey drivers pushing overloaded mules—overlapped with the cacophony of locals bartering, coppersmiths hammering, and the muezzin, the citywide call to prayer—blend with the strong odors of aromatic spices, curing leather, and smoking grills for an incredible sensorial experience you will never forget.

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