The Medina in
This photo shows the main breakwater
entrance to the marina from the Atlantic, then the curving waterway in to the
inner breakwater, to the right of this picture is the checking in pontoon etc.
Past the car park is part of the old city wall that leads up the hill to the
Medina of Rabat. We walked from far left ( out of view ) from the Tour Hassan
and Mausoleum of Mohammed V and toward the minaret in the photo.
We left the Mausoleum, over Bear's left shoulder by a side gate. Walked
down some very rough roads past all the Embassies that looked like large
ordinary houses, nothing special at all. In this area of the city there is much
regeneration, re-builds and new builds as well as the new express tramway, due
to finish next year. Part of the Medina wall, a view of one
of the entrances. They are all not like this, some
Once inside the sheer size of the place is not perceptible, many
skinny streets that lead through a warren of shops
and houses, some incredibly poor. It is not until you get a
birds-eye view that you begin to feel the enormity of the place. AND see
all the Satellite dishes ???? - how can they afford that !!!!
The colours, smell both really good
and horrid assault you. You see smart leather stalls arranged
beautifully, fruit and veg stalls all higgledy-piggledy, very
orderly shops with fixed prices and of course tons of spice
and nuts native to the area. The poorer end of the medina are the street
hawkers with third and fourth hand "stuff" laid out on a old sheet. We saw a
doll with no legs and having a bad hair day, in amongst bits for cars and
clothing. We wandered past a stall selling belly dancing outfits, pants that
started like bits of string Thingy Thongies reaching size 54, "Heck
that must be some kind of real mama not to be argued with" ...... heard slight
muttering but he got away with it. That must be be the Moroccan equivalent
of Ann Summers ................
We walked past this mixed stall and I heard They sell loads of leather dog
baskets, in fact the shop back there, that's all they sold. " I think
you'll find they are empty pouffes" and later on we saw the filling being sold
separately by weight on a huge old fashioned scale. OH. The jewelers
had an area to themselves, as did the wedding dress, banqueting for hire, and
silversmiths. Butchers were in amongst everyone.
You don't see much blood on their meat. Cooked meats, olives, tights,
long-johns all mixed in together. Raw pigs trotters and goats feet. Then a roast
cows head, goats head and various bits of "things", but they did smell very
yummy although not the most attractive to look at.
It is the first time in my life I
have not had a pet. When I saw these tortoises that
came in three sizes, "If I buy a pair of little chaps, I can grow them a mustard
and cress garden in a tray, they can have fruit and veg with us, wander round
the boat at harbour or anchor, live in a shallow sand box at sea and we
will only go touring inland when they are in hibernation, perfect pets"
Bear of course was in his food
heaven. Big fat dates at a £1 a kilo, fresh bread and = a contented
We had explored Sale Medina the night
before, where I had bought Bear his Djellabah ( come in handy in the tropics in
high heat / humidity ) and had no one approach us, in fact the shop keepers and
stallholders just said hello. Here in Rabat I was approached by only one tout. I
played along as a tester. I said I wanted a simple plain black Djellabah. He
took me to various stalls, his aunt, his uncle, father and eventually his
mother, selling from a sheet on the floor. He told me black was expensive, "I'm
not bothered about that". Off he went. The lady had wanted 100 dirham's, he told
me she wanted 200. The label on the garment had a tag saying Dubai. "This is not
local" with that he ripped off the label and said "local Moroccan". I walked
away, he followed and within 50 yards said item now 150 dirham's. We ducked into
a shoe shop and escaped our quarry. Much later we did a full circuit, found the
same lady and bought my Kaftan for her original 100, she carefully folded,
placed in a clean plastic bag and a carrier bag. Humble and genteel, this lady
bowed graciously and we believe was delighted we had sought her out. The 100
note was secreted in her undergarments, chuffed I went off to find my scull cap
and scarf to complete my attire. You read all sorts of stories on various blogs
about the "hidden dangers" of Souks and Medina's. My answer "What would you do
in Soho, Petticoat Lane or a local market". Haggling and bartering have been
with us since man could grunt "GET A LIFE"
Photo One A Jedi
Photo Two A Jedi on a Warrior. Spot the deliberate mistake, answers
Very chuffed in my Kaftan, ( cos it
hasn't a hood and it has pockets - not slits to get through into trousers
and can be warn on its own ). Bear not keen on the full face look -
but very happy to go out and about with me Normal.
My cap was 8 dirham's, the scarf
20, Big Bear handed over what he thought was 30 and waited for his change
because we hadn't bartered, he felt he should, the chap said OK: I was a might
embarrassed when he showed Bear had given him 25 !!!!!. Whole outfit
125 = £8.75. "Delighted"
All in all a brilliant day filled
with colour and custom.