Rabat Travel Blog› entry 7 of 86 › view all entries
All has changed somewhat: Chefchauen is a tourist bubble. All the streets are paintet light blue, there are nice restaurents on the main square and you get offered hash every 5 minutes.... Nice place though
On the very beautifull plains south of the Rif, we realised that not all the villages are as easy as Chefchauen. Our first village was a roadside dump with children climbing out of rubbish piles, stopping us only to demand bon bons or pens. If we didnt give, theyd resort to throwing stones. Finally a use for my helmet.... The second village of the plain was a little better but still nice to leave behind.
Inamongst all the roughness the kindness still shines through. The baker who was imensly proud of his very good cakes, the litlle girls that just wave and shout bonjour, the women that will only smile to me once Daren has passed or kids that race us on their donkeys. But the most amazing are the shepherds. Some are ancient and some not much more than toddlers. Already they have been given a small flok too look after on their own. They spend all day on the plains with the goat and sheep. One came and sat with us on our break. Realising i found it funny how his flok was raiding a fig tree he hurridly picked us a massive handfull. Not eating any himself due to ramadan.
The cities are a different world again. Meknes is stunning; crowded with palaces, people, cars; donkeys etc. Not much time to enjoy it though as we had to hurry to Rabat to get our Mauritanian visas before Eid. I didnt really want to come here. I thought it was going to be too western and boring. Inspite of the roughness on the plains i enjoyed it. But Rabat is even madder than Mekness:
Its were all Moroccos diversity melts into one. The beautifull and the horrible exists side by side and old and new is embracing eachother:
The outcast mother of a young girl begging on a streetcorner, playing a game with her daughter. Inspite of her cruel fate her love and happiness for the child is obvious! Or the festival-like streets of the medina busteling with life: In the evening hours the already narrow main street has somehow found room for another line of shops in its middle. From all sides shoes, clothes, phones, cakes and even the occasional goats heads are sold. But in amongst all this life sit the unfortunate ones earning their money on peoples compassion; People with severe disabilities who cant have a trade, the ones with terminal illnessess or the ancient ones with no family to help. In Europe people with severe disabilities or the very old seem to be somewhat hidden away... We are only used to seing the healthy and young. The convenient disillusion of how humans are....When the sun set, everybody, old, young ill and well all settle to eat. Sharing...
Next to the ancient medinas are the new parts of town. Large roads, suicidal roundabouts, modern shops, pubs, huge buisness buildings and treelined quiet boulevards. Here women covered from top to toe walk arm in arm with women in jeans and low cut tops and fast cars overtake a men pulling charts. The differences certainly seem to go well together here.