By Dianne Cheseldine
Travel and Transformation Gold Winner in the Sixteenth Annual Solas Awards
Finding an oasis in the ancient medina of Fez.
Only a small plaque indicated the entrance to my riad, Dar Attajalli,
meaning House of Transfiguration. The door opened and with one steep step I entered a new world. The young employee, Idris, greeted me with Salaam Alaikum
in a soothing voice. He was tall and slender and moved with ease as he crossed the tiled floor of the courtyard. He was casually dressed in blue jeans and a light-colored cotton shirt, sneakers and a baseball cap, his dress contrasting with the old courtyard surrounding me. He lifted my heavy suitcase as if it were weightless and showed me to my room, the only one located on the ground floor. It was more beautiful than I had imagined, dimly lit with a huge bed clothed in an emerald-green spread and amber pillows displaying Berber designs. The floor was covered in carpets and several leather poufs in varying shades of blue, brown and red. The window of my room opened onto the courtyard from where I could contemplate the patterns of the wooden panels aligning the walls. I could hear the soothing sound of the fountain twenty-four hours a day.