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Fes Medina maps?

san francisco
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Fes Medina maps?

Gidday!again Sydney... mentioned having a good medina map online.

Where would I find that?

Does anyone know a new or older printed map (maybe I can find an older map in the library) that details most of the tiny streets, alleys, etc?

Most of the maps I see show lots of small cul de sacs and even connecting alleys without any names.

An online one that I could print but also search would be great!

Jerez de la Frontera
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1. Re: Fes Medina maps?

Honestly, a map won't be of much use once you are there...many "streets" (if you can call them that) have no names, or if they do, they are only in Arabic. Things are improving for tourists in that there is more of an attempt being made to mark the main touristy areas....but even the best map I know of (available in some kiosks called "Plan de Fes") is really only good for rough orientation....if you want to do some real exploring, you're bound to get lost, map or no map....just breathe and roll with it, you'll have a great time.

East Gwillimbury...
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2. Re: Fes Medina maps?

Hi going-to-fes,

Not to burst your cartographical-bubble but, a map of the Fes medina (Fes el-Bali) probably won't do you much good until you've wandered around (lost) for a few days and have a general idea of your whereabouts anyways.

Get a guide for a day or at least half-a-day to help you get your bearings, and make mental notes of landmarks to find your way back to your hotel/riad. Memory will be more useful than a map, as all the alleys and derbs look more or less the same. You'll find that there are no signs for alley-names on the walls, or on any map you may find.

Exploring old Fes is a real adventure. Enjoy the discovery, and don't worry: You'll be fine (hopefully!)

(sorry to nearly mirror your post, Chano...It wasn't there when I started typing...)

Edited: 18 June 2010, 01:35
san francisco
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3. Re: Fes Medina maps?

Thank you Chano and Spmm.

I am planning on being in Fes for about a month. I am a map person and love looking at them. Yes, I enjoy getting lost and know that is the best way to explore because you find interesting things but I am trying now to settle on a small house to rent and I don't know how to locate it from here without a map. I have now found one map that has all the subdistricts on it which is a help. And it has many of the Derbs too but the writing is fuzzy so it is hard to read.

Thank you, Chano, for the info on the map in Arabic. I will look for that when I get there. I don't mind struggling with the Arabic, so I can see if the signs match the map when there are signs on the wall. Don't worry, I will not walk around with the map in my hand. I will go home and take it out each night and see where I was. But that is when I get to Fes.

ALL THIS TO SAY:

I still hope someone will mention a map that I can use now and for the next three months. Won't be there until late September.

Jerez de la Frontera
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4. Re: Fes Medina maps?

The map I was thinking of wasn't in Arabic...it has the transliterations of the street names into western alphabet, but that is part of the problem, very few of those signs when you see them on the street will be recognisable unless you can read Arabic. Just being able to keep Talaa Kbira and Talaa Sghira straight is an accomplishment, believe me!

It may not be widely available outside of Fes, but try looking for "Fes from Bab to Bab", it was published many years ago but contains excellent information about walking about the medina and the best map of the city I've come across (with the exception of a German sociology professor who has an amazingly detailed plan of the city....it's an ongoing research project however)...and what they used to print the "Plan de Fes" which I mentioned earlier, available sporadically. You can see most of the map here:

http://www.fez-riads.com/medina__maps.htm

Good luck!

wolverhampton, uk
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5. Re: Fes Medina maps?

We had a pretty good map which is fine as long as you stay on the 'main' roads - once you're off them, forget it.

Rather than book a guide for a day or half-day, you could wander under your own steam for a while, and then when you want to find your way home or to a specific location just ask one of the locals! There are plenty of willing volunteers, esp if you look like you're lost... We did this, and eventually paid a local lad 40 dhs to find our way to the restaurant we were after (Fes et Gestes near Bab Hedid, which incidentally was great). He led us through the streets for 15-20 mins and without his help I am convinced we would never have found it.

We managed to find our own way back from there using the 'green stars' and a little bit of help from the restaurant staff. All adds to the fun...

Thousand Oaks...
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6. Re: Fes Medina maps?

Just back from Fes. Trip report to follow. There was no way that a map would have helped us, but I think you will be fine getting lost. Here is the map site we used...www.fez-raids.com. It has the streets spelled out. We had a great lunch in the medina at a place called "Zawia Restaurant". Couldn't tell you how to get there if my life depended on it however (ha). Have fun. It is a great city.

san francisco
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7. Re: Fes Medina maps?

Thank you, Berniez, and thank you again, Chano.

This is a good map although cut off along the edges. What I like is it has some of the sub-neighborhoods in the Medina that are sometimes mentioned in various writings on the web or in the guidebooks. I hope I can find the original because for me this map is still fuzzy. I have found a few things by using Google maps but most little alley names are not to be found via Google maps.

I like to read maps before I go which is not until late September. I will have a month in Fes to get lost 30 times and then get oriented again. Can't wait.

san francisco
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8. Re: Fes Medina maps?

Well, I am now in Fes and I can say that the big map in the book Fes, de Bab en Bab which some say is available in English, but which I only found in French on Amazon.com is extremely useful to those of us who live for and love maps. I have wandered a lot but before I leave the place I am staying, I look at the map to get my bearings, make a few notes, mental or on paper and start out. I don't take the map with me. Sometimes I have to verify that I am still on the way by asking someone if this is Derb such and such but I do all right with marking down ahead of time that I go straight or curve right or get to a T and then take a left after a tiny street.

The book in French is full of small maps for short walking tours and has lots of information about the sights in French. So for those who don't read French well, including me, it would be helpful to have the book in English. I found an old copy of it in English where I am staying but the big map is long since gone. The book has a very big and detailed color map about 2 feet by 3 feet. And a good index of streets so you can find things. You don't need to know a word of French to use it. I made two black and white copies on the blueprint copying machine at a copy store at home.

Sorry you anti-map people, but I do enjoy having a picture of the map in my head and then I can explore down side streets and know where I am if I want to come back.

East Gwillimbury...
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9. Re: Fes Medina maps?

haha

My dear fellow forumite, you misunderstand my earlier reply.

I'm not "anti-map" in the least. When confronted with hundreds of darkened, narrow, high-walled alleyways that all look more or less the same...without the ability to see the sun at any given point, and not wanting to walk around holding onto a compass and look totally lost: Fes is the ONLY city that I have visited (and I've humbly walked on 5 continents at this point) that I would recommend, to anyone who asks, to employ the services of an official guide to gain one's bearings on an initial venture out into the medina. However, I do wish you all the best of luck and success in self-navigating your way thru the derbs and kinks. Fes IS a wonderful city to explore...Bon chance, mon ami!

Stanley, Falkland...
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10. Re: Fes Medina maps?

going-to-fes,

Why don't you post a copy of the map online so others can enjoy and use it?

I'm going in a few weeks.

(And I don;t think the others are anti-map - they sound quite sensible.)