Visit Date: May 8, 2015
The last place to stay is the capital city Rabat. Urban atmosphere.
To Rabat, the capital city and the political center
Departing from the Volubilis site, we will once again return to the city of Meknes, which we visited two days ago. It takes about 2 hours to the capital Rabat. It is indeed the capital city and the road is more magnificent than any other area in Morocco.
And there were a lot of policemen and soldiers in the city. Is it because it is the capital city, or is it because of the influence of the tightened security related to IS?
Then we went to Rabat city.
Disappointing! Archaeological Museum
First we went to the Archaeological Museum in the city. The road was wide and there seemed to be a lot of space for parking on the street, so we didn’t have any trouble parking. However, we couldn’t find anything that looked like a museum. When I was wandering around in my car, I seemed to have made a left turn at a place where left turns are prohibited, and I was stopped by a policeman, but he let me go for some unknown reason. There were a lot of police and soldiers around the area where the Archaeological Museum is located because it is close to the Royal Palace.
In the end, I was not sure, so I parked on the street near the museum indicated by the guidebook and Google Maps, and decided to look for it on foot.
And finally, I found it. I could see why it wasn’t easy to find. It was because it was a small building with two more floors, not on the main street.
I don’t remember how much the entrance fee was, but I think it was a bit expensive… Despite this, there was very little to see in the museum, which was very disappointing. I was very disappointed because the ruins of Volubilis, which I visited just before, were so wonderful. I felt that there were hardly any tourists visiting the museum. I can understand why.
Mausoleum of King Muhammad V and Tower of Hassan
We got in the car again and headed for the “Mausoleum of King Muhammad V” near the mouth of the river. We were able to park in front of the square, but it was very crowded and parking would be a challenge. We were fortunate that when we arrived in front of the mausoleum, we encountered a car that was just leaving, and we were able to get into the space without difficulty. This is also the type of street parking where there is an attendant and you pay when you leave.
Are the cavalry guarding the entrance to the square where the mausoleum is located, or is it for tourists?
We were able to enter the square of this mausoleum, but apparently we were not allowed inside the mausoleum. Is it because the time of day was bad, or because it was Friday. So I could only watch from outside.
By the way, what kind of person is Muhammad V? By the way, the airport in Casablanca, the air gateway to Morocco, is even named “Muhammad V Airport”. This Muhammad V was the king who won the independence of Morocco from France. So he is considered a hero in modern Morocco.
And another symbol on the same site with the mausoleum is the Tower of Hassan. However, it seemed to be under construction and was surrounded on all sides by a net (fence?). So we couldn’t even see the outside of the tower. It was a bit unlucky.
To Medina, check in to your last hotel.
Rabat, the capital city, doesn’t have much to offer. There are only the area with the mausoleum and the Medina. Our last lodging of this trip was in the Medina of Rabat. Moving from the area with the mausoleum. When we approached to the side of Medina, it was crowded with citizens who live in the capital. Taxis, buses, etc., the hustle and bustle of the Muslim world that we often see was in the air. I thought the capital city was very lively.
We arrived at the Medina wall from the southeast of the Medina, went around clockwise along the wall, parked our car around the north side of the Medina wall, and walked to the hotel we had reserved in the Medina.
The hotel was a relatively new riad-type hotel in the Medina, a little north of the city. It was not a typical type like Marrakech or Fez, but an ordinary hotel rearranged in riad style. The room was the same as a normal hotel.
After checking in and relaxing a bit at the hotel, we took a walk around the medina. It was the type I’ve often seen, but there were few tourists and it had a shopping street atmosphere for locals.
Then we left the medina and strolled around the square along the Bouregreg River, which flows east of Rabat.
A corner with a large space and easy to spend. It seems to be a place for citizens to relax. I saw a lot of tourists.
It was crowded with many people. The ship anchored here seems to be a restaurant.
The next stop was the Kasbah of Udaiya, northeast of the medina and the nearby city center.
It seems that there was something like a museum inside, but I gave up going because it seemed to be just before closing.
And on the back side of this Kasbah, there was a town colored in white and blue for some reason. I don’t go this time, but it is atmosphere like popular tourist spot Shaouen in Morocco.
So that’s about it for sightseeing in Rabat. To be honest, there was not much to see.
Well, the purpose of our walk around the city was to find a restaurant for dinner. To tell the truth, I was getting tired of Moroccan food such as tagine and couscous, so I intended to look for another restaurant like the day before, something French, in short, something other than Moroccan food. However, we couldn’t find the place we wanted.
In the end, we found a place where we could drink wine and beer, but the atmosphere was not good, the building smelled like a bubble, and the food itself was not so bad, but not particularly tasty either. The food itself wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t particularly tasty either. And after all, the staff at the restaurant didn’t seem very motivated, so it was a very disappointing choice.
The wine wasn’t bad….
We didn’t take lunch that day, just ate some snacks in the car, so we took dinner a little early. I think we finished eating before dusk. Then we went to the hotel in Medina on foot. The next day, we finally went back to Japan.
Transfer to Casablanca, transfer to airport, return rental car safely and fly home.
After dinner, we packed up for our flight home the next day, took a shower and went to bed early. Waking up was comfortable. Although Rabat was disappointing in many ways, the atmosphere of the hotel was very nice. Breakfast was also very good.
I checked out of the hotel, went back to my car, paid about 20DH to a street watchman who appeared suddenly as usual, and went to Casablanca via the highway. Then I went south from Casablanca for about 30 minutes and came back to the Muhammad V airport after about 10 days. There was no trouble about the car and no breakdown, so the return was extremely smooth. I had about a quarter of fuel left in the tank.
Checking in for the plane was smooth. The departure procedure, which I had heard would take a long time, was also smooth. I spent the rest of the time buying souvenirs at the airport and departed from Casablanca without any particular delay. And I came back to Narita on the next day Sunday as scheduled via Istanbul.
With this, my trip to Morocco, which started in Israel, has come to an end. It was an extremely smooth trip with no accidents or thefts, although I had a few physical problems. I didn’t get to visit Morocco and the area further north on the other side of Spain, so I plan to visit there again some other time. (2015 Israel & Morocco trip complete)