旧 市街 Fesسيدي موسى sidi moussa، Fes, Morocco
We had been shopping in the old city and along comes some guy who says he will take us to the tannery. Our friend said that he felt comfortable after speaking with this person, so we went with him. We were taken through many small alley ways and brought into the back side of the tannery. Before we knew it we were upstairs and we Ahmad another person who apparently worked for the tannery coop/guild and he started giving us a history of the tannery. He was actually quite good and his historical accounts were very accurate and his English was quite good. we definitely used the mint we were offered as the smell of animal flesh can be overwhelming. I didn’t ask to be given a tour. We thought were just being brought to the tannery. After the tour the tannery guide became fairly aggressive asking for a top. We have him 20 MAD and he still said that was nothing. I gave him whatever change we had and we scooted behind the original person who had brought us here. If I had asked for the tour I would have been more amendable to giving a tip but we were really just a group of people essentially taken from the the street and asked if we wanted to go somewhere. We left but our friendly person then took us to another place that was probably part of the same group/coop. Same type of activity. Bring us in and then try and sell us something. We became acutely aware and left very politely. Again, the tannery tour was great and the person very nice. The closing tip tactics were not.
The Tannery is interesting but we were led astray by a local “guide” once we left. He walked with us, ignoring us when we told him we didn’t need help, he then led us the wrong way telling us the way we were going was closed and then demanded increasing amounts of money from us with a friend of his who appeared. Luckily a passing policeman told them to go away and escorted us back to safety, a 20 minute walk in the opposite direction. Beware!
Honestly this was really cool. It's a working, original, old tannery. We went into a shop and onto the balcony to view the tannery. One of the men working the shop gave us a detailed explanation in very good English before doing his job of trying to sell us the products. We were respectful and apologized for not wanting to buy anything. He didn't force us, didn't ask for a tip, and let us be on our way. Highly recommend.
Hard to find. You need to go into a leather shop which is actually a number of little leather shoes in a multi level building. It took us quite a while to find it. You know you're close when the guys on the street start asking if you're looking for the tanneries and to follow them. Obviously don't follow and just say no thanks. Go into the shop and head straight to the back for the stairs and don't draw attention or if you do just say you'll look at stuff after. Then go up and see the tanneries from top level for free. It smells but is ok. If you struggle to find it but think you're close just ask since tourists, they'll probably be and to help.
Just another tourist trap. Firstly, be prepared to climb a steep set of stairs to a terrace full of flies & stinks of pigeon droppings (used in the tannery), just to view the tannery in operation from above for just a few minutes & get a few pictures. Most of your time will spent on a guided tour of the leather products likes shoes, jackets & bags where one of many sales persons will try to thrill you & sell you leather products at super inflated prices. No price tags on the items in this shop should get you thinking!
Sharing is caring!