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Freya Dowson is an international documentary photographer based in Dubai.

About Freya

The sad truth of it is, my very first thought upon arriving in Fez was “I wish I was at home in bed”. Two days before flying I came down with an awful cold and spent the next week feeling feverish with a head stuffed full of medicine and cotton wool. Not the best start to a trip I’ve ever had, but at least I was overseas for fun and not for work, and I had the luxury of staying in bed in a beautiful dar rather than hauling my sorry self and my camera around and worrying about how bad my photos may turn out.

But all the same I was really annoyed. It was Christmas, I was meant to be on holiday and I was just too sick to do anything – which also explains my rubbish appearance in my last post. I am very proud to say I didn’t wallow in bed for too long though. On our first day I made it out, even just for a little bit, to wander the Medina in Fez and take in just how amazing it all is. And it truly is amazing.

I had been warned before I went to Fez that hiring a guide was a good idea, and it really was (we found someone through our hotel). Sure we ended up at all of the usual tourist spots, but it gave us a really good understanding of the Medina and that meant after a while we could find our way around on our own. Well, Adam could, I am awful with directions even in my own neighborhood. 

I’ve traveled in Morocco before, right after I dropped out of university in my first year. I went back of course, but I was studying archaeology at the time and it took half a term to realise it wasn’t for me. I remember when I was in Marrakesh I took a lot of photo and printed them out to put them in an album – oh those good old days, which I don’t actually miss at all. But I guess a part of me wanted a tangible record of the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done.

The thing with the medina in Fez is that while it’s a tourist attraction, it’s an actual functioning market where people live and do their shopping. It’s crowded and can get a little crazy at times – which just so happens to be one of the environments in which I thrive. I love bustling cities, life going on all around me with people yelling and trying to move in different directions all at the same time. I don’t get easily overwhelmed by human chaos, and in fact a part of me finds peace in it.

Just a few hours of walking was all I could manage on our first day, and in fact I don’t think I even bought my camera with me – even though Adam tried to encourage me to bring it. I think he thought it would heal me somehow! All of these photos were taken throughout the time that we were there, and I have plenty more to share on another day.





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