After reading about Fez about what seemed to be ages, I finally had a chance to make a visit.  I was in Morocco for five days, and decided to make the journey.  I was staying in Rabat, and after a couple days of sightseeing, took the ONCF train early one morning, and headed for Fez.

The journey altogether, from Rabat, took less than three hours and on the way we stopped at a few places, including Sidi Kacem and Meknes.  Soon we were at the Fez Station, and I proceeded to have a walk around the very modern downtown area.  This was going to be a day visit, and therefore I had to take everything in small steps. 
The city proved to be much busier than I expected, and after a brief tour I took a Petit Taxi and headed for the Medina. The concept of the Medina for me represented quite an interest, since my initial interest in Morocco has always harboured a fascination in Medinas.
I was not to be disappointed about the Medina. But I did go back on my original promise to be my own tour guide.  At the entrance I allowed myself to be talked into an improvised tour by a young student.  Although I was suspicious of her motives I went along with her offer.  In many ways she was quite competent and confident, and I felt justified in agreeing to the tour. 
The Medina was everything they say, a potpourri of traditions laced with cultural and commercial icons. But it was its setting that made it different. Housed in an antiquated walled city it illustrated the best example of the Arab marketplace.  Most of the traders and artists lived close by, or so they said. Leathergoods seemed to be particularly significant, and was evident in almost any shop or cubicle.  Brassware and ceramics were also conspicuous, followed by woven items like blankets. But it was also interesting to see it as a regular place to buy much wanted goods by the local population.  And with this idea you could have purchased anything there.  Interestingly, since there were no marked prices and the bidding system was the rule, speculation abound.  You could possible argue about prices forever, if you were not focused.  Whatever your interest, you had to be careful how you spent your money.
I was able to see one of the tanneries in operation, and was able to appreciate how the skins of animals became leather. Like everywhere in Morocco, even here in the Medina you were never far from a mosque.  Yet as a tourist you were in a shoppers haven.  I resisted the temptation to go wild, and restricted myself to simple souvenirs.  At the end of the tour I offered my guide a fee, and suddenly realised that even this payment was up for negotiation.  Indeed it was a remarkable experience, though I felt it could have been longer.  I agreed with the consensus that to be serious shopper here, could take you a few days.  The first two days to get accustomed to the place, followed by the days to do the purchasing.
Later, I had another walk around the downtown area of Fez, pausing to have a snack, and then I headed back to the train station.  Soon I was on my way back to Rabat.