Rabat, the capital of Morocco, definitely represents the country’s shift toward modernity. From a western perspective, people might picture Moroccan roads as bumpy and pot-hole covered; however, most of the roads throughout Morocco are well-kept, especially in the capital. The infrastructure of Rabat highlights the sophistication Morocco strives toward. Cars of all types, from Maseratis to Toyotas, whiz around the city’s traffic circles. While most of the pictures tourists take focus on the old medinas, Morocco is surprisingly progressive in many respects, even surpassing the U.S. In particular, a high-speed train is set to begin operating later this year, taking passengers from Tangier to Marrakech with other stops along the way. Also, Morocco continues to invest heavily in advanced solar power farms, and currently holds the title of the world’s largest solar plant. [I highly recommend looking up a few articles on the topic.] Although certain areas still lack modern necessities, the majority of Morocco’s population enjoys WiFi and electricity.
Note: I included the above essay-like paragraph simply to point out that Morocco is not just a primitive country (as many western portrayals suggest).
Embassies and museums (like the Mohamed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) also underscore Rabat’s importance.
Now to the fun photos!
It’s a common saying to “rock the Kasba.” So, I did, in a sense. The term kasba actually refers to a fortress; and consequently, the architecture revolves around fortified walls. One of my favorite things about Rabat’s kasba was the beautiful, blue color so many of the walls were painted. Since the narrow alleys and interwoven buildings offer little free space, the blue helps create an illusion of openness.
After wandering through the kasba, we stopped for a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast.
Later, we split up into groups and headed out for lunch. With the help of Iman, two other friends and I managed to communicate that we wanted Asian food! Rabat’s food scene continues to expand, with sushi restaurants gaining popularity. After exiting the taxi (which cost around $1 – taxis are extremely cheap), we headed inside the small restaurant and excitedly perused the menu. Then, at last…seafood!
After lunch, we headed back out onto the streets. We stopped at a gelato stand and then relaxed at a cafe offering tons of different pastries. I got a delicious cafe au lait and a mini almond pastry.
Finally, it was time to go, and we boarded a bus heading to Tangier.
Stay tuned for my forthcoming post about Tangier!
Bislama (Moroccan dialect for bye)