on January 22, 2002
Tanneries are always outside the medina walls. Take a taxi or walk to Bab Deggagh (entrance to or exit from the medina). There are few souvenir stalls, few tourists, many potholes, much rubbish, many ‘friends’ who want to show you the tanneries, at a cost of course. Decide for yourself wether you ‘hire a friend’. Some of them know a lot, speak understandable French, others are not so good. ...Your guide will guide you into one lane and to another, you will enter dark, you will go up many sinister staircases. And suddenly you will find yourself looking down on an open space with lots of tubs. Tubs of all sizes and colours. Here the hides are dipped in various mixtures, which should be natural, but these days chemicals are used. Your ‘friend’ will then guide you along workplaces where people are at work. It fascinating to see, at the same time it is one of the most horrible jobs there is. The chemicals are toxic and shorten the workers’ lives.It is best to get to the tanneries in the morning as no work is being done in the afternoon. You can get there by horse-drawn carriage. They are waiting near Jemaa el Fna. They usually take the outside of the ramparts and drop you at Bab Debbagh.
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