Monday, October 07, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

capital and our first imperial city, Rabat

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
Not sure whose grand idea it was, but Abdoul, our driver, took all our luggage and drove to Rabat, while we took the train. The view on the Atlantic side wasnt that spectacular and there were views of shanty towns on the other side. What was there to enjoy? First we went to see the Imperial Palace. They only allowed tourists up to a certain point and on the side. Couldnt even stand in front of it. As if taking a picture from the front would compromise security. Then we went to Chellah, the Roman town turned necropolis. The buildings were old and gorgeous and everyone wooed and aah'd about the storks. Dont even like them. Then on to the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the grand king. Quite a nice place. The tower, although not finished, was quite impressive. Moroccan minerats are square. Then the thing to see, my first Kasbah, the Kasbah des Oudayas. A fortified city with a grand gate and houses painted in the famous blue. So distinctly Andalucian. Labyrinths of cobblestone streets. Really enjoyed it. Had a Mediterranean flavor to it. Had my first tagine there, chicken lemon, and I was immediately addicted. Then back on the train. This time we rode in first class compartments. There's this local guy who was a bit shaky character, kept picking his nose and looking at his cell phone, slouched on his seat by the window, right next to me. I was stuck in the middle which I didnt really mind, except I wasnt sure if he's safe to be with. It turned out he took T's seat and T didnt even say anything. A girl came in and kept throwing weird looks at this character. After a while, she got up and left. At that point, I left too and exchanged seats with Aziz in another compartment. Wasnt going to sit for 2.5 next to this dude. Arrived at Meknes, our second imperial city, and walked to our hotel nearby. Tonight we had the most delicious Moroccan dinner at the Riad hotel, inside the Meknes medina. Took a peek at the Riad hotel, the one Joann stayed in her trip. The courtyard looked cozy and inviting. Inside the medina, labyrinths of narrow cobblestone streets, high walls with sunlight peeking through, small doors on either side, that open up to grand courtyards and multitude of rooms. Moroccan dinner began with a nice thick vegetable (lentil?) soup, followed by several little dishes (Moroccan tapas?) of olives, garbanzo beans, green beans, white beans, eggplants and then the main course, the Moroccan signature dish, chicken couscous, piled with carrots, zucchini, potatoes and garbanzos. Ended with coconut and peanuts cookies and mint tea. I was completely stuffed and in heaven. My hotel room on the fourth floor, was big, with a sitting area with turkish sofas and cushions, and a huge balcony overlooking a busy Meknes street. At 1AM, a local family leisurely strolled on the street. Don't they sleep? I couldnt either. So I continue to read Angelfall which I've started in CDG.


See Rabat pictures:

rabat

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