The medina is the ancient part of the city. Literally inside of medieval walls. The streets are labyrinths, guaranteed to get you lost. So guess what I did? I intentionally decided I wanted to get lost.
I set out in the morning, while my partner was swimming a few miles for the day and gave myself a goal. Lets reach the Kasbah through the Medina, which you can. However, I knew I would definitely get lost if I didn’t have any markers.
I walked round the city for a bit before going into this unknown adventure. I walked a few blocks to familiarize myself with where my hotel was relative to other well-known structures of the city, including one of the entrances to the Medina.
I found the fountain in the Grand Socco. In front of the fountain there is a giant Mosque. Across the Mosque, beyond the fountain, there was an entrance to the Median. It was a giant archway.
I entered and walked down hill, through several shops and by many cafe’s and restaurants until I finally got to a place I was familiar with. There was a sign… Or I should say a piece of wood that looked like an arrow with the word “KASHAB” painted on it. I looked in the direction it was pointing only to realize it was pointing at a very tight doorway, almost hidden by three restaurants.
I thought this had to be a mistake, that looks like the back entrance to a restaurant! Who am I to say how this city functions? I followed the sign and walked down thin streets. The streets were corridors where housing, cafe’s, restaurants, hostels and even hotels were. I didn’t see any street signs and I knew if I made a wrong turn I would not find my way back easily. I decided to walk in a straight line. That way, all I have to do is turn around to find my way back.
I walked in a straight line until I couldn’t anymore. The roads began to split and the road I was on began to curve. I no longer felt like I knew where I was. To be honest, it felt like I was walking in dark and lonely alleyways. I’m from LA, you don’t walk in dark and desolate alleyways unless you’re looking for drugs or you have a ‘mugging’ fetish… It kinda freaked me out. Since I was just walking around, all I had is my camera. I didn’t bring any cash, wallet, nothing… I had nothing anyone wanted to take.
I came across kids playing soccer. Families relaxing by their front door. Signs for hostels and hotels pointing them in the proper direction and cute stores.
I grabbed my cell phone, took pictures, documented by walk and decided to walk back and head back to my hotel. Needless to say I didn’t make it to the Kasbah… but that doesn’t mean I wont try again. Besides, I was getting hungry!