Rabat – The Moroccan Capital

After Casablanca we drove to Rabat, Morocco’s capital city. Rabat is Morocco’s third largest city with some 650,000 people and in my opinion is much more tourist friendly than Casablanca that we saw earlier in the day.

First on the list was the Royal Palace. This was the only time we were able to take photos of guards or any uniform officer in Morocco. We were told upfront by our tour guide not to take photographs of any police or army officer without their consent, even from the safety of our tour bus as there have been instances where the bus was later stopped and the unlucky photographer was forced to format their card on the spot. Naturally we were all camera happy once we found out we could snap away this one time. This Royal Palace, as the case turned out to be with all of the palace’s we saw, was extremely large, very well guarded, and very unapproachable by tourists. I wish there was at least one we could visit, like the Buckingham Palace that is accessible to tourists while the Queen is away.

Mausoleum of Mohammed V was next. It holds the remains of the late king and his two sons; King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. Armed servicemen again stood guard all over this very beautifully decorated building but were cool enough to pose for a photo of two. Located across a very large square is the Hassan Tower that was intended to be the largest minaret in the world at the time of its construction in 1195 AD but construction was stopped only four years later once the Sultan heading the project had died.

Kasbah des Oudaias was our last stop of the day. It had a very Greek feel to it due to blue and white colors all over the place. We walked down narrow pathways till we got to the very top of the fortification with a beautiful view of the coastline Rabat. There wasn’t much there in terms of shopping, which was a welcomed change from all the busy souvenir shops we had encountered pretty much everywhere we went. It was nice to simply have some mint tea and relax…for exactly 15 minutes before we had to move on again back to the bus…

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