Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recovering in Rabat.

After our visit of Marrakesh we came back to capital city of Rabat where we left Chocobo and on our return we brought back more than beautiful images of the magnificent city we also brought back a flu virus. Yes you read right; the FLU! I mean how in the world can one get the flu when the average temperature during the day is 36°C (97°F)??? Well we sure managed that, no challenge is too hard for us. And with this we had to basically spend the week at the nice marina in Rabat with a box of tissues, lots of rest and watching an industrial quantity of movies. Of course, the fact that you can get some pretty good movies for 10 Dirham ($1.25) in Marrakesh and 5 Dirham ($0.63) in Rabat sure helped with that. In the other hand having some time to rest and do nothing is not a bad thing altogether but we are looking forward to move somewhere else.

One cannot spend time in Morocco and not hear about Mohammed V the king who was primarily responsible for the independence of the kingdom. Every city has a major boulevard named after him and in Rabat they erected a mausoleum for him. Now, this rather small building wouldn’t be a big deal if it wasn’t one of the most beautiful manmade structure in the world. Everything is made of carved marble or other noble stones and as soon as we got closer we quickly realized that this building that looks a bit ordinary from afar was in fact a stunning piece of workmanship that made us stop on the doorstep all mouth open.

Right in front of the mausoleum of Mohammed V stands for a few centuries already La Tour Hassan. This structure was intended to be a minaret and the 200 columns you see behind me where supposed to sustain the planned mosque but the poor fellow who dreamt of what was supposed to become the largest mosque in the world passed away before work completion and his dream died with him. We left the site and then walked a few kilometers north to the medina where we could admire some architecture unique to Morocco. The medinas or old cities are actually a dangerous place to wander. Not that anyone would attack us for Moroccans are very nice people but because we might get lost. These old quarters were planned either by a guy doing way too much drugs or by a fine strategist who wanted to ensure no invaders would be able to find his way through this maze of streets and souks.

As it is always the case Rabat is not only an old city but also an enjoyable modern city with, among other things, its brand new tramway system allowing people to travel all across the city for only 6 Dirham ($0.75). During the past few days since we arrived in the country it became obvious to us that Morocco is ongoing some major breakthroughs in its development and the situation is moving in the right direction for what seems to be the only stable country in the Middle East and North Africa.