From the moment I stepped off the plane in Fez, it was exotic. I can’t ever remembering an aiport with air this sweet. The landing strip was in the middle of fields and it was filled with late spring and past smells of jasmine.
It didn’t take me long to feel naked, however. I wore a jean skirt, knee socks and a sleeveless button down shirt that felt revealing and I felt suddenly naked. This feeling of exposure increased when I walked through the gates of the old city. When you could find a woman, she was in various degrees of extreme coverage and so I felt I needed to buy a sleeping bag to pull over me.
By the way, I had one proposal of marriage from one of those who had a modern profession—wedding photographer. Guess he wants to come to the states. Not my type.
There is a new hotel, this, in a world where nothing is new; Riad Fez.
In fact, it’s almost a style hotel--a total contradiction in this old city where streets don’t have names, items don’t have prices, and you have to yield to donkey and horse. Dinner is one set menu of about 400 diram…which is about $40. The fish that they made for me was perfect pitch with lemon and sald lemons. One of the most savory fishes ever spooned into my mouth. Also of note in the collection of mezze beforehand, was the cauliflower with big chunks of coriander and ginger and pickled cabbage. A bottle of wine costs as much as a complete meal. Discovered a Le Val d’Argan $35) a mixture of rhoneish grapes that was a touch rustic but like sun-dried roses. Look for pictures and addresses when I get back home and can plug in.
Meanwhile, after a quick stop in the Loire (night spend at Clos Roche Blanche—with the gracious Catherine & Didier, and the morning with Thierry and Jean Marie Puzelat), I’ve arrived in Bouilland carrying with me some sort of nasty bug which reared its ugly head during a walk through the cot vines (just before flowering). This has severely cramped (no pun intended) my tasting appointments. All I know, is that I visit the de Villaine property in Bouzeron, Philippe Pacalet on Monday and will be tasting a slew of 96’s on Sunday.