Today is going to be slightly different here on the blog, because Mr Travelling Han (MTH) is taking over for a post. He travels a lot for work and this year has visited Germany, Belgium, Australia, Singapore, Romania, Portugal, Turkey and Morocco. Where they are European countries, I normally join him for a weekend and share my own blog posts on the destination, but I didn’t manage to make it to Morocco….so today he is going to take over the reins and take you on his ramble through Rabat.
There is one thing about my wife which often drives me to distraction: her INCESSANT need for jaunts, trips out, exploration and adventures. I am MTH, but I am often a reluctant and moaning MTH. Around every corner she snaps photos, we get nowhere very slowly, I spend endless hours on benches as she bends down over puddles trying to take arty photos….and I can never just eat a meal as soon as it arrives, I have to make sure I capture it from every angle first.
But I must admit she’s rubbed off on me over the last few years. So when I went to Morocco with work I was straight out ready to explore….and of course to take photos of my food.
I stayed in a lovely hotel, The Sofitel, just outside of Rabat. Historically I would never have ventured further than the pool, but this time I decided to head in to Rabat and explore.
Within minutes I wished I hadn’t.
My taxi ride was hideous, the worst of my life in fact. My taxi was a death trap, They don’t do seat belts, the traffic is horrendous. It was noisy and awful and quite frankly I wish I’d stayed by the pool. I somehow survived and decided I may as well plough on with my plans.
My impression of Rabat, besides advising you should never get in a taxi there, was that it is very busy and hectic, yet also very clean. The architecture is beautiful and there were a lot of nice doors. Hannah likes a good door so I took lots of photos of them.
I may quite like doors, but as a general rule I don’t really like people. Not personally, I mean just big crowds of people. Hannah’s not afraid to tell people to jog on when needed, but I am too nice and end up siphoned off in to every shop being sold hats, sunglasses and faded postcards. It’s a talent of mine. So the Medina was an interesting and very stressful place for me, but I managed to see it and get a sense of it without actually buying anything. Quite the achievement.
After exploring the Medina, I took a stroll through the old town, which was actually very beautiful and I particularly liked the white washed walls. I also saw the impressive Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Hassan Tower which is actually an unfinished mosque – there’s even a wall with lots of holes where the floor boards were meant to go. There were also lots of gardens everywhere so I took some photos of those.
As another general rule, I really don’t like the heat. Hannah’s a little sun baby but I have normally drenched through a T-shirt and am unable to breathe after about 3 minutes. So the temperature wasn’t ideal for a long walk – again though I sweatily persisted and headed to the coast to get a bit of a breeze as I struggled on to the Royal Palace.
To conclude my stroll, I also visited the Chellah, which is a walled garden on the site of an ancient citadel featuring Roman ruins & royal tombstones. The Romans really did get about a bit, and I found myself feeling sorry for the poor soldiers who ended up in cold Britain rather than here in the sunshine; it must have been real pot luck.
Now I may have moaned quite a lot in this post, and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that this trip resulted in a nice bout of COVID for me. But in actual fact I enjoyed my little jaunt round Rabat. 10 years ago I’d never have done it – this time I moaned to myself for most of it but am glad I did it. I discovered that Rabat is hot, it’s busy, its people are so welcoming, there are lots of nice doors, don’t get in a taxi, don’t go for a walk without sun cream on and don’t get too close to people and catch COVID.
Oh and the food was great. I took photos of it from every angle.
Stay safe and happy travelling – MTH.