What is a Riad?

A riad is a particular type of boutique hotel housed in a renovated, grand, old house in Morocco, mainly Marrakech and Fez. I’ll speak in general terms; with riads opening almost weekly now, there will certainly be some exceptions to this description. For a couple of decades now it has been quite trendy for Europeans to buy old riads and renovate them as vacation homes or guest houses. Now there are hundreds in Marrakech alone.

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Fez Tanneries

Wandering through the Medina in Fez, you see craftsmen of all sorts at work, their workshops often open right onto the narrow alleyways. The leather tanneries are slightly less accessible; you’ll smell them long before you see them. The tannery works can only be seen from upper floors of the leather shops that surround them. Continue reading

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 53

The 14th-century Bou Inania medersa (or madrasa) and mosque in the heart of the Fez medina is, historically, one of the most important Koranic schools in our mystery country and one of the few religious places open to non-Muslim visitors.The cool, quiet courtyard and interiors feel worlds away from the mad crush of the surrounding city.
The image above can only hint at the incredible aesthetics of Bou Inania, with its intricately carved cedar and plaster and colorful tiles.

Can you name that country? 
See below for answers.

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Foto Friday – Zoom 4

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Athens Acropolis

Athens Acropolis

Fez, Morocco

Fez, Morocco

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen, courtsey of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen, courtsey of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Knossos Palace, Crete

Knossos Palace, Crete

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Foto Friday – Zoom 3

Church of All Nations, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of All Nations, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Bou Inania Madrasa, Fez

Bou Inania Madrasa, Fez

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

Holy Sephulchre, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Holy Sephulchre, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Knossos Palace, Crete

Knossos Palace, Crete