0301. Capital of the East (Mor 134--revisit)

Er Rachidia Travel Blog

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Er Rachidia is perhaps the only "Big City" east of Atlas Mountains in Morocco. I spent that night here on a five day whirlwind tour around Morocco back in 2002 with my wife but didn't really see much of the city.  Now I'm eager to take a closer look.

The trip there is after dark--but in the moonlight I can still see that it's a pretty impressive stretch... The highway weaves through a narrow canyon with a lush Oasis down below and even a tunnel (a rarity in Morocco).  Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy this stretch in daylight next time...

Once in Er Rachidia I have no trouble finding a cheap hotel and a delicious supper of kebabs with a salad.

  I take a short stroll around downtown and decide to call it a day...

Next morning I head down to the roomy, fairly modern covered market--still pretty quiet, as desert cities tend to get a late start... then across the riverbed to a cookie cut middle class neighborhood of reddish brown homes...

Do get a nice view of the city--with the mountain backdrop,  the stream running through town and the lush oasis on the southeast side. Take my clip there, then headed back into town to explore the oasis. 

Crossed the stream and followed a finger of the city squeezed between the oasis and the airport that stretched on for miles and miles--getting poorer and poorer the farther I got from the city.  Some traditional homes and narrow streets--but no "old medina" feel....

Er Rachidia is getting all spruced up with flags, new paint jobs and clean streets--the king is due to come through in a few days and the city wants to be ready.

.. I head back into town....

It's a sort of fun city to explore--as you can be in city one moment, and strolling through a quiet palm tree and olive grove oasis--and then back in the city.  However it also has some enormous military bases right in the city which means you might spend a couple of miles hiking alongside a boring concrete wall...

Meet a couple of interesting people here--a couple of aspiring guitarists as a strum in a park in the evening... a couple of overly friendly older men--yep, they were drinking...

Upstream a little ways I spot what looks like an old medina--so I go to check it out.  Similar in design to the Midelt castle, it's a fun little place to explore.

Late in the afternoon, I head to the bus station, and on to my next destination...

 

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Er Rachidia
photo by: marg_eric