Saturday, 12 April 2014

Onwards to Morocco




We decided not to jog this morning but instead just walk thru town for the last time.  We stopped at all the beach lookouts including the Balcon. One last good look was needed at each of them.

One last time



We finished packing the suitcases which are now very full.  Not sure we will have room to put much in Morocco.  Fridge magnets for sure besides that we will see how we do on weight going to Casablanca.  There are a couple of things we could ditch if we are overweight and can also move stuff into the knapsacks.  Mine already weighs a ton with my camera gear but there is space for more.  Wendy is lighter and has quite a bit of space.

At 10:30 we went to return to satellite unit back to Nerja Wifi and get our deposit back.  The credit machine was not plugged in, so Raoul asked to come back in about 5 minutes.  We decide to go have one LAST walk to the Balcon to take in the views.  We come back and Raoul is at the banking machine.  We get our deposit back in cash, he says because we are getting more than what we had paid when we got the machine with the exchange rate change, the bank would not allowed this.  We are happy with cash.

We gather all our stuff and load up the car.  It took us about 1 hour maybe less to get to the car return place.  We followed the signs to the airport but the car return is on the way out of the airport which we find no problem.  We get to a traffic circle and can actually see where we need to return the car but it is on the left side of a divided road.  Easy we will just drive down a little and do a u-turn at the next traffic circle. Once we exited the traffic circle, we saw the shuttle for the car rentals company and there was an exit in the traffic circle.  It was a strange traffic circle exit as you had to hang a left out of it in front of 2 lanes of traffic which are waiting to enter the circle.  We ended doing longer detour than we had planned but very easy to get back on track.  Traffic was not too crazy today as it is Saturday.  We rented from www.malagacar.com we were very pleased with everything.  I even told the guys who we return the car when asked how was everything “Lots of power going up the hills”  He got a good chuckle out of that one.

Back at the airport we are too early to check-in.  I took a walk thru the terminal, not much to see.  A Starbucks, a Burger King and 2 or 3 small other places. Also a Haas and Daas but decided not to pay 5€ for an ice cream. We had 2 of those delicious Lemon ice creams leftover in the freezer which we had before leaving.  1 ice cream a day is good enough. I can’t believe I just said that.  Thinking about that, it must be the 5/6€ reason I did not get one.  We decided to wait for lunch on the other side of security. Hopefully there will be something there but we do get a meal on the plane and we leave at 4, so nothing big needed.

Easy flight from Malaga to Casablanca, only about 1.5 hours, but arrived to a totally different world than Spain.  We have hired a driver for 6 days, and he met us at the airport.  We could have handled the drive fine ourselves until we got to Rabat, then it would have been very bad for our marriage, so it has already paid off hiring a driver.


Not sure what it says but we are getting on


We are staying in the Medina (old town) in Rabat, which means there is no parking anywhere, only one street runs through the Medina for driving, and it is right on the outside.  We grab all our things and our driver walks with us to find our Riad we are staying in for the night.  Riads are kinda like a bed a breakfast at home.  We go down these tiny streets that look like nothing is behind the doors, we arrive at our Riad, ring a bell and they open up to a beautiful oasis.  We are taken with our driver to a back little room where we fill out registration cards and are served green mint tea and sweets.  They pour the tea from very high in the air, our driver tells is this is to create bubbles in the tea, he said if there are not bubbles it is insulting, like oil and water.  

Our first look at the Medina walls with a peanuts seller

Lets go find our Riad

There is a courtyard on the bottom floor which is the dining room where we will have dinner tonight, there are around 6 bedrooms off the courtyard.  Our room is up some winding stairs, through a little library and another sitting room, beside a small pool.  It is really a beautiful spot, and hard to believe it is behind the door, wonder if behind all these doors we pass by have these treasures inside.  So different from Spain where everyone seems to have beautiful flower pots outside, here there is nothing pretty outside your door, everything is hidden outside.

Better than our bathroom at home

Courtyard

Our room

It is now 8PM and we decide we have about an hour that we want to explore the city before dinner.  The hotel gives us a map and tells us to stay on the outside of the square, as inside is all just homes and not much to see.  We found our way to the Souika street, which is like the Markets in Spain x 100% craziness, and I think this is a tame market compared to what we have coming up in the next couple of days.  It wasn’t too bad in the beginning, but part way through vendors started setting up in the middle of the walkway, so an already crowded walkway got cut in half by these vendors. 
One great thing we saw is men baking bread in the communal ovens.  The dough is brought to the communal ovens and then you come back and pick it up later in the day when it is baked.  This tradition has gone on for years, so glad we came across it.

Fresh out of the oven

At the end of one wall of the Medina

The crazy madness zoo streets



Heads and feet


On the way back home

Another nice door

We are home, let us in.

Back to the Riad for supper, we had made reservations to have dinner at the Riad tonight as we had no idea what we were going to be dealing with.  After walking around town a little we are glad to just go back to the Riad for supper, I don’t think we saw any restaurants.  Dinner is Table d’Hote, and we are definitely done with Spain cheap prices.  We had our fist tangine, Duck and Chicken, both were good.  Started with an assortment of salads, and finished off with Strawberry Tarts.  

5 small Moroccan salads



It is now 11PM, time for bed.  Our driver is picking us up at 8:30 tomorrow morning, a busy day planned ending with spending the next 2 nights in Fez, can’t wait!

2 comments:

  1. I'm still following along. We had been to many of the places you were in in Spain a couple of years ago, but this will be new. I'm looking forward to it-chris (from TA)

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  2. I found your blog doing research for our upcoming summer vacation in Nerja, Spain. It's been joyful reading, and I am looking forward to the tapas, maybe a few hikes and the beaches.

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We appreciate any comments/questions you would have or any stories about the places we visited.