First stop was the nearby train station where we bought two more rail tickets for Sunday. We fly out of Tangier next Friday, so we decided to head directly there for five nights and do some day trips from Tangier.
This time, we bought first class reserved seating tickets. Schools are on a two week vacation right now, and we're traveling on a Sunday. Also, I believe the train from Rabat to Tangier originates in Casablanca, so the second class seating might already be full when the train arrives in Rabat. So it might be standing room only. That chance, we are not prepared to take.
So we paid 153 dirhams ($21.50 CAD, $16 USD) each for first class. I guess we'll be riding in style! We'll see...we've often seen that the difference between first and second class is pretty minor, although at least we have guaranteed seats.
And then we set out walking. The first part of our route was just a busy commercial district. And they were doing repairs to the sidewalks, so it wasn't that easy to walk. But, still interesting just watching the people going about their business.
A relatively clean city (until we got to the beach!), and there is a noticeable absence of graffiti. Strange, since graffiti is so prevalent in much of Europe. I should mention that Marrakesh was pretty much the same.
The ancient wall of the medina. It's huge!
In between the wall of the medina and the sea, there is a massive cemetery.
There is a beach in Rabat, and another beach on the other side of the river at the city of Sale. Sale is more of a bedroom community and doesn't have much to offer visitors.
We walked to the Rabat beach and out to the end of the causeway. Unfortunately, our opinion of a relatively clean city was diminished. We couldn't believe the amount of trash in and around the beach. Probably one of the worst we've ever seen.
Trash along the causeway.
We just don't get it.
Why wouldn't the city clean this up? Why doesn't the average person just clean this up? Why aren't there any trash cans?
The beach on the other side of the river at Sale.
Ruth, with a view of the river.
We walked through the old section of the medina. It's quite interesting, and we actually saw a few other tourists there. There are not many tourists in Rabat! A very different experience compared to Marrakesh. The street and market vendors don't bother you at all.
Remember the other day when I mentioned about the very expensive ice cream bars and popsicles that are sold to the tourists? Here in Rabat, we thought the prices might be more reasonable so we asked at one vendor who had an ice cream freezer outside her shop. The price for a chocolate and nut covered ice cream popsicle was 3 dirhams. Yes, 42 cents CAD. A far cry from the €2 to €3 euros they want for a similar item at the tourist stops on the way to the desert!!
Inside the medina, the walls are all painted white and blue. It's really quite pretty.
It's a real maze inside the medina, with many alleyways and dead ends. Fortunately, it's really not that big so even if you get lost it doesn't take long to get yourself back on track.
There's also a really pretty garden inside the medina.
From there, we walked through the street market and on to the Hassan Tower. This tower was built in the 11th century and is another Unesco World Heritage site. The tower was meant to be part of the mosque, but the mosque was never completed and fell into ruin. The ruins have been pretty much removed, and all that remains of the incomplete mosque is parts of the original pillars.
Hassan Tower, built in the 11th century.
There are two guards like this.
At the mausoleum, there is a guard at each of the four entrances.
The mausoleum where Mohammed V is buried, along with the most recent king of Morocco who died in 1999.
Pretty fancy stuff for a dead guy!
The fountain is beautiful...too bad it wasn't operating.
From there, we walked to the Royal Palace. Here are some things we saw along the way...
Big modern Roman Catholic Cathedral in Rabat.
This is the rear view, because I couldn't get a decent view of the front!
Fantastic mural on this modern office building.
Flowers for sale.
There are several entrances to the huge grounds, but only one entrance can be used by tourists. You have to surrender your passport to the police office, and then you are free to roam the grounds. This also means that you must exit at the same gate to pick up your passport.
Unfortunately there's not much to see at the Royal Palace. The guards don't let you anywhere close to the palace itself, and you're not allowed in any of the buildings.
The Royal Palace of Morocco in Rabat.
With lost of Asian tourists!
Interestingly, there are a lot of Asian tourists in Morocco. Not sure why, but we were surprised by that.
Main entrance to the palace itself.
Guards. Representation from the four different protectionist services.
And then it was home!
Turns out we did 15 kms! (9.3 miles).
Our walking route in Rabat.
Gotta go...our train leaves in an hour and a half. See you in Tangier!
Thanks for coming back here before doing any of your Amazon shopping!