Sunday, July 23, 2006

Off and running

Well well well what a hectic week but finally made it to Fes after all I just had the small matter of renting my house in Vejer Spain and clearing out my possessions for a few months at least. Travelling by car with my compadre Hector a Mexican style councillor we drove to Algeciras praying all car paperwork in place. It was a breeze in Algeciras and an hour waiting in line in Morocco nuff said but then it was the motorway down to Asilah only 40 k away. I will say now this town is going to explode big time on the tourist trail cos it has everything. An arty colourful medina although very expensive compared to Fes and less detail but stunning ramparts bordering the Atlantic to watch the sun go down. The whole town is under major upgrading from houses to public gardens and spaces and the people are chilled and friendly. We started as we meant to go on checking out houses with a local guy some rubbish and expensive but found plots with new build potential just outside medina. All good knowledge to be filed away for future reference once Fes project is underway. Next stop an hour away south was Moulay Bousselam which caused Hectors jaw to drop on viewing an incredible lake with bird sanctuary at entrance to the town followed by the Atlantic breakers on an immaculate beach and not a european in sight it was breathtaking. Property already expensive as it is retreat for rich Moroccans and beach house have stunning views but property bordering the lake demands further investigation. Finally we tore ourselves away for trip to Fes to see the architect that afternoon. Quick visit there as he said revise the plans to new spec he will draw them up and the buiders will start the following day as all permissions now in place so Mernissi house is GO!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

News sources from round the world about Fes

Friday, July 07, 2006


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The gorgeous work of a top Fassi artisan in zellige covering the main salon floor. Posted by Picasa

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Marrakech-London - EasyJet's African first.

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Marrakech-London - EasyJet's African first.

MAP OF THE FES MEDINA I recommmend you buy the book from which the map is reproduced.

The Mernissi House

This is a new blog so just getting to grips with the process but suffice to say I along with some partners-in-investment ( have bought recently the old Mernissi house near the Mnebi palace in Talaa Sigheera. One of the most famous Mernissi family members is the literary lioness Fatema Mernissi who is a best selling author worldwide and a radical feminist. Having grown up in a harem in Fes in the 1940´s probably had some influence on her later perception of women´s role in a Muslim world!! Check out the novel chronicling those childhood years "Dreams of Trespass".
Having fallen in love (haven´t we all) with the houses, people and character of the Fes Medina this blog will be a personal representation of our experiences. We are soon to be interviewed by a British lifestyle magazine this year to follow our progress in the renovation of this historic Fassi house
More blogs about Morocco.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Amazing zellige on the main salon floor replicating the octagonal shape of the skylight above it. We were told by the architect that to recreate this style of zellige today would cost in the region of 16000 euros so i think we´ll just give it a polish. They recommend used engine oil to preserve it which seems a reasonably cheap option. Posted by Picasa
Almost Monet style in the main salon window but the glass used is a retro 50´s cheap as chips but we were told this is traditional which is a strong contrast with the intricate handcarved plasterwork that surrouds it. Posted by Picasa
This is the octagonal skylight above the main salon at the epicentre of the house the floor zellige replicates the shape of the octagon. We intend to remove the centre and replace with a retractable dome skylight which could prove to be technically difficult but someone somewhere must have the technology, any ideas??Posted by Picasa
The famous Bab Bouljoud or Blue Gate , this is where you enter the Medina from Batha and where you find all the funky cafes and tea rooms before you get to the twin arteries of the Medina Talaa Kbira and Talaa Sigheera. The Mernissi house is a five minute walk down through Talaa Sigheera past the artisans and craftsmen and turn left at the hot snail stall (you´ll smell it before you see it)Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa Situated on the walls of the main salon there are 4 of these that when lit from inside dispenses diffused lighting from the fragmented iraqui glass within. These are all hand carved plaster and are apparently very expensive can´t wait to switch them on when we´ve got the wiring sorted.
This is above the main door where the ladies of the house would look out into the street as they were only allowed out of the house twice in their lifetimes so i was told, once to find a husband and the second time in a coffin!!! Posted by Picasa
Here are a few of the photos of the Mernissi Dar we took just after purchase and after a major clean as no-one had lived here for 10 years or so so it was in a state of benign neglect to be polite or to be correct they kept a few sheep there so droppings, rats and dust were the order of the day.

iraqui glass arch

iraqui glass arch stunning!!

Welcome to the site for Dar Mernissi currently in the process of a major renovation in the Fes Medina,Morocco check out the house in pre-reform stage and follow us on our journey.