November 02, 2014 Sunday
Driving to Rabat A stork nest shaped
around the minaret
was an early
morning, with breakfast at 7 and departure at 7:30. Meli had a plan for the day
which required exquisite timing in order to capture some special photos in just
the right light. We made our way out of Casablanca in our comfortable van,
heading north aside the Atlantic Ocean through groves of mimosa and jujube
- Sabah el Heer
The road to Rabat along the Atlantic Ocean was quiet at first, then we started seeing families doing their walking, jogging, walking. A nice coffee break at La Rode des Sable d'Or and a short walk to the beach helped us stretch our legs. Our driver Abdul dropped his car keys in the toilette. We had to wait for the rescue operation to be completed. It was hard to believe that the winter was coming soon. The flowers were glowing with the brightest colors.
Our first main stop was the town of Rabat, which is the administrative Capitol of Morocco. We walked and shopped in the souk, where yours truly succumbed to a beautiful indigo Kilim carpet. As we came to the end of the souk, we crossed the street to an ancient kasbah, a walled city-within-a-city built in the 12th century by Muslim refugees from Spain.
The kasbah has beautiful views of the sea from its high perch.
We also made a stop at the mausoleum of Mohammed V, then visited the unfinished mosque of Sultan Yacoub el- Mansour. He died before it could be finished and then an earthquake in 1755 left only shattered pillars.
The Moroccans were visiting the tomb as if it were the basilica of a saint.
We noticed another Moroccan art; henna drawing. The young lady whose feet were beautifully decorated posed for us so we could take her picture.
After a quick coffee to perk us up, we continued on, arriving in Meknes around 6 and checking in to the most delightful hotel many of us had ever seen. It is an old fabulous home that has been turned into a boutique hotel ( RIAD) with rooms surrounding an amazing courtyard with fountain, lounging sofas, tables and chairs. Every space, including our rooms, is decorated with period tile, carpet, carved wood, and other furnishings. Each room is unique and beautiful. We are happy campers.
Riad Didi, Meknes