Julie and I spent a total of four night in Rabat with a nice guy named Rachid. Rachid is a graphic designer, writer, and aspiring movie maker who gave us a lot of insight on what life is like in Morocco. He recently went to Syria to document what is happening there; it was a conversation that gave me goosebumps and made me so grateful to just be alive. I was blown away by Rachid’s kindness, every morning we had an assortment of Moroccan bread (pronounce ‘hobs’ in Arabic, with an emphasis in your throat on the h) and delicious mint tea made from fresh mint. Rachid took us to all the sights to see in Morocco, and he deserves a prize for being the most patient man alive since he accompanied Julie and I to the medina multiple times. Most men complain about women shopping, Rachid just helped us haggle our way to cheaper stuff. A special thank you to Rachid for showing us such a great time in Rabat!!
One day, Rachid brought us to a place where the King is buried. In addition, they started building a mosque, but never finished it, so all that is there is the almenar (probably spelled wrong, but basically the minaret of the mosque).
Another day he brought us to a very old part of the city. The Greeks originally were there, so there are a lot of Greek ruins. Later, when the Islamic group moved in, they built a new city next to it. It was pretty neat.
Rabat is a really interesting city with a combination of French architecture from the when France occupied Morocco, as well as Islamic. The juxtaposition of the two really gives Rabat a cool vibe. Julie jokingly said, “The weather is so nice here, I don’t understand why the French didn’t keep Morocco and give France to the Moroccans.” (Now that I’m in Paris, I understand why the French wanted to keep France)
Some other things worth mentioning… On our first night in Morocco, I got attacked by a vicious mosquito (or maybe a swarm of mosquitos), who felt like it was necessary to bite me all over, including right in the middle of my cheek. Not only was I hideous, but I was really itchy and irritable. Thanks a lot Moroccan mosquitos…
Morocco is unfortunately known for its verbal harassment of women… Luckily for us, it wasn’t so bad in Rabat, probably because we were with a man. My favorite “cat call” if you will happened while we were crossing the street. This guy walked by me and shouted, “You are smart and amazing, BABY!!” I of course thought this was hilarious. FINALLY someone has figured it out!!
Looking back on this portion of our trip, I wish I had taken more pictures. I have very few pictures of the delicious food, and none of the bread. We probably tried 10 different types of Moroccan bread, each one unique and wonderful.
One warm night, under a full moon, Julie and I sang “Arabian Nights” from Alladin… We’re dorky and we know it.
I also don’t have any pictures of the medina, which is really why people travel from all over the world to come to Morocco. The medina in Rabat was much more peaceful and open that the medina in Marrakech, and was full of booths with leather goods, shoes and clothes, food, and gigantic piles of spices. My favorite were the huge piles of cinnamon, with the tops shaped into a point like a dunce cap…
Early Thursday morning, Julie and I boarded a trian headed for Marrakech…