I woke up today after 10:00, showered, dressed, and got ready to see Fes. I left the hostel around midday (big mistake, I should’ve stayed in until 15:00, after the sun’s strength had died down some) and walked to Bab Rcif Gate, I then made my way through the medina. I first stopped at the entrance to the University of al-Qarawiyyin (or Quaraouiyine Mosque) which was founded in 859 AD by Fatima al-Fihri; is the oldest existing, continually operating and the first degree awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records (however Al-Azhar College in Cairo claims to be the oldest with a foundation date of 970 AD . . . and others say that both were not real universities until modern times and were instead schools of Islamic law where other subjects were only of secondary importance . . . and, of course, most people don’t care). Anyway, no infidels were allowed inside, so I had to content myself with looking at the entranceway. Next, I walked to the Chouara Tannery, the largest of three tanneries in Fes. The tannery is made up of many large vats where tanners treat goat, sheep, camel, and cow hides. The tannery process begins with the raw animal skins being soaked in a mixture of cow urine, pigeon feces, quicklime, salt, and water (the liquid in the white wells); this loosens the hair from the hides and makes them softer; after a few days of steeping in this concoction, the skins are hauled out and hung from rails on the balconies to dry; next, tannery workers plunge the skins into the colored wells, leaving them there for a few more days to absorb each hue in order to dye them the desired color; the dyes all come from natural substances, such as indigo, henna, saffron, poppies, and pomegranates. As I approached the Chouara Tannery, a man asked me if I wanted to see the tannery from his shop’s terrace; since the only way to see the tannery is from the surrounding buildings and since this particular leather shop doesn’t charge visitors (they just try to get you to buy their merchandise), I agreed. He led me upstairs and offered me some mint leaves to hold under my nose – the tannery smells really awful, but I turned down his offer to smell the tannery in all its glory. Once at the rooftop terrace of the shop, I had an okay, albeit disappointing, view of the tannery (hey, at least it was free). After taking some photographs, I walked back down the stairs and looked around the shop. Then, as I exited the shop, one man led me to his “relative’s rug shop” (I have to use quotation marks since I don’t believe anything people with money signs in their eyes say); even though I explained that I was not buying souvenirs, the man had one rug unrolled and laid out on the ground after another. After amusing myself by seeing six or so rugs laid out, I politely left the shop. I then walked to the Mosque and Mausoleum of Sidi Ahmad al-Tijani and admired its entrance door (no infidels!). Next, I made my way through Sekkatine Souk and all the way to the western end of the medina, at Bab Boujloud (the “Blue Gate”). I took some photographs of the gate before walking through another souk and reaching the northwestern corner of the medina; I exited the medina through an entrance in the surrounding fortified wall (which some liken to the wall around Jerusalem – I can see a similarity, but Jerusalem’s walls are taller and much more impressive) and then walked along the northern side of the medina, heading east to the ruins of the Merenid Tombs (which date to the Marinid Dynasty (thirteenth- to fifteenth-centuries AD)), located on a hill overlooking Fes. I climbed up the hill, walked around the ruins, and enjoyed the view of the medina and the surrounding countryside. Once finished taking many a picture, I descended the hill and walked back to the northwestern entrance to the medina. I then walked back through the medina, to the Bou Inania Madrasa, which was founded in the mid-fourteenth-century AD by Abu Inan Faris; this building actually allowed infidels like myself to enter inside and enjoy its excellent example of Marinid architecture (for 20 dirhams). After paying the fee, I entered inside the madrasa and looked at all the fine Islamic designs decorating its walls. After walking around the madrasa, I exited the building and made my way back through the medina, back through Bab Rcif Gate, and eventually back to the hostel. I was extremely sweaty once I had made it back to the hostel and I spent the next several hours resting inside, in front of a fan. Later on, after 20:00, I decided to get something to eat. Tired of Moroccan food already (and especially tired of the medina), I decided to walk to the Borj Fez Shopping Mall (located southwest of the medina, not too far from the railway station). It took me about forty minutes to walk to the mall and once I entered inside, I walked to the food court area and had Burger King for dinner (I had a coke, French fries, and a barbecue double cheeseburger). After that meal, I walked downstairs to the Carrefour and bought sandals (my old sandals/shower shoes were worn through and it was time to replace the nasty things after nearly fifteen months of – usually – faithful service), Aquarius sports drinks, almonds, and dried apricots. I then walked back to the medina. Before returning to the hostel, I stopped at a nearby market (an honest one) and bought juice and water. I then made it back to the hostel and I was exhausted. In retrospect, it was a mistake to walk to and from the mall and I should’ve just used a dishonest cabbie, because I was on the verge of heat exhaustion. I then took it easy and drank lots of fluids. Eventually, I went to sleep around 02:00. I knew I had a high temperature and it could be dangerous being in Fes in the summer; however, I would learn the following day that it may not have been heat exhaustion that raised my body’s temperature, but instead a slight fever caused by an infection that brought upon me something far worse: traveler’s diarrhea. But more on that in the next journal entry.