February 22nd, 2009 – by: hoangn
Bahia Palace - Absolutely worth visiting. Unlike Badi Palace this palace is full of intricately carved wooden/stone walls/ceilings and doors. This Palace was built with the intention of being the greatest palace of its time. It captures the Islamic and Moroccan style. The courtyard is a vast huge space open with a fountain in the middle. The rooms surrounding the the courtyard all used to be occupied by concubines. In the garden areas there are colourful grapefruit and orange trees. There are also bamboo trees and tall looming palm trees. A lot of the palace is built with symmetrical ideas in mind as you'll see the same shape and style of the room built opposite each other. This was worth the 10DHS entrance fee to see this sight.
Ceiling at Bahia Palace
Do watch out for the opening times though published as 8.30am-11.30am and then 3pm-5.45pm.
We took a taxi back to the hotel as we had finished at 12noon and the Sadiaan Tombs were closed we thought we would take advantage of the hot weather and go back for a dip in the pool. The taxi guy wouldn't haggle a price before we got in, we jumped in anyway as he was friendly and chatty and we just wanted to get back quickly. He ended up having to take a diversion as Moulay Av El Hassan was closed off as there was a football game on. He joked with Otu throughout the whole journey and offered as some entertainment. When we reache hotel we paid him 20DHS, I think this was an overpriced fare but at least we got a fair bit of conversation.
Bahia Palace gardens
We did a few laps in the ice cold water in the outdoor pool. I managed to pick up a tan in the hour that we were swimming. You can't estimate the power of the sun so make sure you put on some lotion to avoid burning.
After recharging our energy we headed off to Le Sabal on Mohamed V for lunch. Food was decent and the setting was really cool. It was like sitting outdoors in a tropical rainforest. This setting would be interesting for a nighttime scene. They also had a lounge bar and served alcohol. After stuffing ourselves with lunch we headed towards the Sadiaan tombs. The map was really awkward to follow and we kept getting different directions from the locals. We then further got tricked by a sign pointing to the Sadiann tombs which was leading into an alleyway, which turned out to be an entrance to a shop.
Ryad Mogodor outdoor pool
We swiftly walked through without being distracted by all the shiny goods around us and came out the back entrance into what looked like a back alleyway of exits to houses and shops. We were surrounded by kids at this point. The smaller ones were playing football and the older kids were on scooter bikes. The older kids kept telling us that the tombs were closed and we just kept seeing more and more tourists all getting mixed up in this whole commotion. Otu and I dodged all of this craziness and started to make our way out of the alleyway. As we tried to bypass this scene I was hit in the back with some stones. I yelled out in shock and pain and was very upset by the incident. I turned to see the guilt culprit and I was faced with a whole bunch of little kids.
I shouted out "WHO DID THAT?" I think the kids were then a little scared and looked like they wanted to scurry off. One of the taller kids placed his hand on hist chest and bowed his head. I was not satisfied with this and asked him why he hit me with the stones? He had no answer and just backed away. I was really upset by this and felt like turning back and heading home. Its little incidents like this that can just turn a good holiday into a bad one. At this moment another kid offered to take us out of the alleyway and onto the right path for the tombs. We were already on the right path so we came out to the main road and made our own way to the tomb.
10DHS to enter the tomb to see the resting place of the Sadiaan kings.
Gold encrusted ceilings
As we entered we saw a huge queue to see the main enclaved tomb area. As I was needing the ladies I went to find a loo. What we found was a smelly horrid dump. The toilets were not serviced and the smell was enough to turn your lunch out. If you can hold it I would strongly advise that you do. After that terrible experience we were ready to join the queue to see what all the fuss was all about. We saw people going in about three at a time and then coming out and making comments in French. To me they looked disappointed. When it cam eto my turn I wasn't expecting much... until I saw the gold encrusted detail of the tombs sparkling in my eyes. This was totally worth he entrance fee but not worth the pain of those stones on my back... still bitter in my mind. Those kings sure new how to be remembered and have the luxury of riches and gold even after death. We had about 2 mins before the crowd behind started edging in on us.
At sunset the streets seems to get more crazy and the air more polluted and dusty. We walk through Bab Agnaou, one of the gates of the city walls. We wonder quite aimlessly until we reach Djemna El Fna and realise where we are. We make our way back to the hotel for some rest.