All hail the king!

Rabat Travel Blog

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Train station in Rabat.
Today it was off to Rabat and then Meknes, two of Morocco's four imperial cities. (The other two being Fes and Marrakech).  Currently, Rabat serves as the capital of Morocco and we were lucky enough to be in town while the King was also in residence, which provided us with some interesting interactions later in the day.

But first things first.  Since we were only in Rabat for a few hours we stored our bags at a nearby hotel before heading to the medina for lunch.  The restaurant we ate at was I believe one of the few open during the day since it was still Ramadan.  Unfortunately, three of our party,  were unable to join as they had to go to take care of some passport/visa issues.
..which is a story in and of itself, but let's just say that for a couple of days Richard and Wesley were illegals..tsk, tsk.

After lunch we explored the old medina and the Kasbah des Oudaias, a "village within the city".  It is a medieval citadel and was once the stronghold of pirates.  Inside the Kasbah, the walls and doors are painted white and a beautiful blue, reflecting the inhabitants life on the sea.  Probably one of the most photographed areas in Morocco.  I know I took a zillion photos.  After a tour of the gardens and some mint tea on the terrace, we headed back to the souks of the medina.  Once again, I was able to resist the call of the shopkeepers and was able to get out without parting with my dirhams.

Did I mention that the Kingwas in town?  And even more importantly, so was Leonardo DiCaprio!  Morocco is a major movie set it seems and Mr.
Kids playing some type of spinning top game.
DiCaprio was in the country filming some CIA thriller.  What else!  We did stumble upon a movie shoot, but did not see the man himself.  However, we did get to see, sort of, the King.  As we were walking back to the hotel, we noticed that the main drag, (Muhammad VI or Hussein V or something like that...it's the same in every city) was filled with people waiting for the King and his motercade as they headed to the Parliament building.  So we briefly saw his hooded head thru the sunroof of his car.  I did try to take a photo but the stern looking policeman shook his figure at me so I thought it  best for me to delete and move on! Official photos only apparently.  And believe me, there were plenty of them around.  I was wondering if it was a law that every household had to have a picture of the King on the wall.
Primping for the King.
  Anyway, the King zooms by, people cheer and wave their photos and flags, and we westerners start wondering how in the heck are we going to get across the barricaded street to our hotel.  After trying to sweet talk many a policeman with our pigeon french, Cheryl, bless her was finally able to convince an important looking dude to let us cross.  Whew!

After that drama it was a crowded two hour train ride to our next destination, Meknes. Interesting in that being Ramadan, as soon as the sun went down, you could hear the food immediately being unwrapped and people perking up. I guess after two weeks of fasting people tend to get a little irritable. Also interesting was the group of people that were trying to avoid the conductor because they didn't purchase tickets. That was amusing to watch.

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Train station in Rabat.
Train station in Rabat.
Kids playing some type of spinning…
Kids playing some type of spinnin…
Primping for the King.
Primping for the King.
Break for mint tea.
Break for mint tea.
Blue walls of the Kasbah.
Blue walls of the Kasbah.
Overlooking the Atlantic.
Overlooking the Atlantic.
Along the parade route.
Along the parade route.
I like the yellow shoes!
I like the yellow shoes!
All hail the King.
All hail the King.
Restaurant menu.
Restaurant menu.
Cute little girl that joined the p…
Cute little girl that joined the …
Rabat
photo by: asturjimmy