Whoah, this year has been hectic so far… I can barely find time for anything… We recently went on a trip to Morocco, in an attempt to escape the cold winter here in Romania. I had been wanting to go there ever since my Southern Spain summer holiday two years ago. I was mesmerized by their culture, their mosaics, their architecture, those vibrant colored doors. This was our first time outside Europe and I must say it was quite different and exciting. I loved every moment of the trip and I couldn't wait to share my experience with you.
We took thousands of pictures, just because everywhere we looked there was something worth immortalizing, so it turned out to be quite difficult to make a selection to show you guys. I’m going to start in chronological order, with Rabat, the capital of Morocco.
But first, so I don't forget mentioning some important details of the trip: we traveled with Ryanair, we had a 6 hours stopover in Rome when going from Bucharest to Rabat, and flied home from Marrakesh, with a stopover in Bergame. We changed 5 accommodations throughout our journey (booked with Booking.com) and rented a car to get us from one place to another. The temperatures were somewhere between 14-18 degrees Celsius during the day and went down to 5-6 degrees in the evenings. In the mountains area it felt a little bit colder, so if you plan to travel there in February make sure to also pack some warm jackets. We only had a cabin luggage, but we shared a cargo one with our two friends that joined us for the trip. The cargo luggage was mainly to fit our souvenirs J, so I definitely think that the carry on would be enough for an 8 days trip if you don’t plan on buying lots of stuff while you are there.
This being said, let’s kick this travel diary.
We arrived in Rabat in the evening. The Riad that we had booked for two nights was in Sale (near Rabat), inside the Medina. We found the nearest parking spot and immediately began searching for the hotel in order to check in. Being our first evening in Morocco, we had a bit of a struggle finding the hotel and got a bit lost on the narrow, labyrinth-like streets of the Medina. It might be that we were also tired from the long trip… Also, there were a lot of people on the streets pointing us in the wrong direction (I’m sure they didn’t intend to get us lost, the Riad had recently been open so people did not know the exact location, and we figured out later on our trip that Moroccans don’t want to not be able to help you J, so they sometimes say they know the hotel/touristic attraction when in fact they don’t :P. We finally found the hotel and were welcomed by this super friendly and cute French lady, the owner of the Riad. Dar Chouette was the name of the hotel and I would totally recommend staying there. Solange, the owner, was super friendly, she made us feel right at home, the place looked amazing, decorated with such taste and super cozy. She made dinner for us our second night there and it was delicious, she helped us plan our day in Rabat and she was of great use, because we ended up visiting everything on our list. For our first night she suggested we could visit the Marina in Sale if we weren’t very tired (Insert short story: I actually was super tired but didn't want to ruin my friends night, which I ended up doing anyway :)), I got grumpy and annoying, so it was a short dinner, and no walk around the Marina at night), so we did just that: we took a taxi and went to grab dinner in one of the restaurants in the Marina. As I’m probably going to repeat it all throughout this travel diary, Morocco is full of contrasts. The Marina was quite a cosmopolite area, the restaurants were modern and looked totally different from what we encountered the next day in Rabat’s medina J.
The Riad was right next to a Mosque, so we were woken up the next morning by their famous calling to prayer. It was interesting but scary because we hadn’t yet adjusted our brain to realize that we weren’t home, so that noise at J. At breakfast (which was super tasty and looked amazing), Solange told us that it would probably rain a bit during the first few hours of the day and suggested we could visit the medina in Rabat because we could go inside different shops in case we needed to escape the rain. We got there shortly after and the shops were just starting to open their doors to tourists. You can find everything inside the medina: leather products, shoes, colorful carpets, beautiful ceramics, jewelry, food, spices, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, it is like an enormous market containing everything you could imagine. Also, my personal favorite attraction were those beautifully decorated doors. I had to stop and take a picture with aaaall of them.in the morning freaked us out a little bit
The guys also wanted to try their famous street food, they had some kind of fried fish and vegetables, I wasn't courageous enough, cause I'm dealing with some stomach issues and didn't want to ruin my entire holiday :). But they said it was tasty, and actually a lot better than the food we had eaten the previous evening in the Sale Marina.
After rambling around the medina, we went further and visited Oudaias Kasbah, Rabat's historic citadel. The streets of Oudaias are different from the rest of the city, the majority of houses are blue painted and look straight out of a painting. The place also allows visitors to enjoy some spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean. What surpised me the most, like I said earlier, contrasts..., is how we went from the super crowded, crazy medina, with people buzzing everywhere, continuous noise and shouting from the store holders, to this quiet, peaceful, serene place with its blue streets, ocean, the beautiful Andalusian Gardens with its many friendly cats, its flowers and palm trees.
I'll soon come back with part two of our stay in Rabat, so stay tuned!
I'll now leave the pictures paint a better story of what I just described.