My next stop in Morocco was the capital of Rabat. We jumped off the train, left our packs in a restaurant and set off to explore. It was all happening in this city, even a big but friendly demonstration.
The medina is very big and very crowded. A fun place to wander through. After checking out the local wares it was time to rock the Casbah.
The casbah is built overlooking the ocean, a lovely place to relax with a cup of mint tea.
We set off up the hill to check out Hassin Mohammad V mosque and mausoleum. The buildings are surrounded by a high wall and are guarded by very decorative dudes on horses.
The mausolem contains the tombs of the king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdullah. The building is considered a masterpiece of modern alaouite dynasty architecture, with its white silhouette and green tiled roof. Is was completed in 1971 and Hassin was buried there following his death in 1999. There are very dapper looking guards protecting the tombs but they had a good sense of humor and were happy to pose for a pic or two.
Grabbing our bags we paid a couple of dirhams and upgraded to first class for our 3 1/2 hour trip to Meknes.
We arrived in town to pouring rain so ran through the streets to our hotel. We were taken to a 'local' place for dinner. On offer was chicken and chips or chicken and chips. I made a hot chip roll which was rather tasty. This night is now known as the Red Rooster night! Not to be repeated!
The next morning we set off in the rain to explore Meknes. We had a look at a place where the 12,000 imperial horses used to be kept .... just an empty palace type space really.
Left to our own devises, Kristen and I promptly got lost amongst the locals and the windy little streets. This was a good thing as we saw the local market and everyday life in the town. We were a bit of a novelty, not the usual place for tourists. And we met 10 year old Ahmet who spoke very little english but guided us back to a main road. Bless him.
That`s Ahmed in the grey hoodie.
We checked out yet another mosque and the amazing gates of Bab Mansour on Place el Hedim.
We met up with the group and walked into the heart of the souk for a camel burger lunch. Not being a big meat eater, I opted for tomatoes only in my roll, but the others all seemed to enjoy their lunch washed down with the local fresh mint tea.
Wandering through the souk we came across a domestic arguement, hilarious, and discovered all sorts of weird and wonderful things on offer. I just loved it.
As we headed out of town we stopped at Volibulis, a site of roman ruins. Yes, I know, not more bloody roman ruins. I think I've seen nearly every site that the Romans ever visited! But we had a humorous and interesting guide and I quickly immersed myself in the site ... an area of over 40 hectares that was built from 3BC to 1AD. The impressive part was the recently discovered mosaics. There are so many large tiled artworks and they are in very good condition. Much of the site is still to be uncovered but what has been found to date is very cool. And this is coming from the girl who never wanted to see another roman ruin in her life.
All to soon we were back on the mini bus headed for Fez ... but took some time out on the top of a hill to enjoy the views and some pomegranates.
Link to all photos
|Morocco - Casa, Rabat, Meknes|