Morocco Days 1 and 2October 13 in Morocco
Arrived in Casablanca, Morocco from NYC via Paris around 4PM. Our driver met us at the airport along with others on the flight in our group. Illene, Isabel, Jeannie and I are traveling with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) and will be with a group of 16 for the next 2 weeks. Only saw the airport in Casablanca, then off via minivan to Rabat. Our hotel was across the river Bou Regreg from Rabat in Sale and lovely – The Dalwitz. A quick shower before our dinner at the hotel Lots of travel weary folk after overnight flights from the US. Five of the group, including Jeannie, have been here for a 5-day pre-trip to areas in the North of the country.
Breakfast and our “orientation” meeting ll o- all of us of similar ages, lots of white hair. 😊 Mustapha, our guide for the next 2 weeks, provided an overview of the daily schedule, introductions all around and general questions asked and answered.
Off to explore Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco. First stop, the King’s Palace. The system of government in Morocco is a monarchy and the king has the final “say”. The sub governmental structure is a parliament, bicameral, of which one of the bodies is elected by the population. The other unit is “businessmen” or tradespeople e.g teachers, telecom, etc. These leaders are elected by the people in their trades. Mustapha was very clear that corruption is a real problem and, as of yet, unresolved. Palace interior is off limits to visitors. Next stop, Chellah, another example of the vast expanse of the Roman Empire. The site consists of Roman ruins as well as a 15C mosque built on the site with lovely gardens, flowers and fruit trees. Discussion held around the tenets of the Muslim religion and purpose of the different sections the mosque. A quick stop at the mosque of Hassan II, the previous king of Morocco. A new structure with lovely mosaics interior, very ornate and replete with his tomb (as well as family members), on the ground floor.
Remainder of the afternoon on our own. The 4 of us ate lunch at a fish restaurant – good but too much food. Then we split up, Isabel back to hotel to rest her leg, Jeannie, Illene and I to the quite new Modern Art Museum Il and I quite pleased with the content – all Moroccan art and some quite interesting. Modern art is an emerging market in the country. Then Il and I took a quick trip thru the souk (market) in the medina (old town). Interesting with the food and spices everywhere but, in general, just a big flea market. Back to hotel for a quick shower and out for a walk to the Kasbah – fortification overlooking the Atlantic -and a walk through a quieter and prettier section of the medina on our way to dinner. A very important stop at a liquor store to get alcohol for the next phase of our trip where apparently” spirits” are not available. Il and I got 5 bottles for the 2 of us for the next 5 days. 😊 !!!!!
Dinner was very special – a Riad (an old Moroccan home now a B & B or Inn). An elderly gentleman with a lamp met us as we were walking to the restaurant. The dining room was in the courtyard or atrium of the home. Beautiful interior, candlelit tables, music and an excellent Moroccan dinner. After dinner our same gentleman with the lamp led us back to our bus. Restaurant: Dinarjat – highly recommended for anyone in Rabat.
A busy first day in Morocco!!!Read more