Moroccan Travel Diaries: Exploring Rabat

We spent the night in my SIL’s apartment nearby. The next day had us back in my parents-in-law’s apartment to have breakfast. We ate a lot in this trip. Lots of tajine (which can be both the dish and what it’s cooked in), lots of kebobs, meatballs, soups, a dish called rfisa which I loved, lots of bread, figs and dates, olives, and Moroccan mint tea. WE. ATE. A. LOT.

But I really think I ate better than I ever have in quite a while. We ate lots of whole wheat grains. Meats that came from animals that ranged freely. Most of our foods were mostly organic, with lots of the ingredients coming from my FIL’s property in the countryside. He grows fruits and vegetables, raises free-range chickens and pheasants, and look at this table below. See that jar of honey? That’s made from bees he keeps on his property. Organic honey.

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I’ll write more about that property in the countryside later because it is such a wildly stunning place, and deserves its own entry. For now, we stay in Rabat. First, we’re off to exchange some money.

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Afterwards, we drove around and got a feel and look of Rabat. We stopped by to visit the Hassan Mausoleum, where several past important kings are buried. It was a cloudy day, and windy. I found the architectural design of the location most interesting, and also took an interest in the unsmiling guards. I was also captured by the reminiscing going on between Woody and his mom and sister, who talked about the visit they made to this same site when they were little. Running around the way my own daughter was running around.

A little side-note. I had a picture of this unsmiling guard momentarily caught off-guard by an errant wind. His robes were flowing, and he had to hold on to his hat. It was amazing. But a man came up to me and started talking to me in French, indicating my camera. I told him, in French, that I didn’t understand. I was confused and a little worried by this man. Houda came to the rescue, and explained to me I had to delete the picture of the guard holding onto his hat. I did it without question and when we walked away, Houda explained he was a police out of uniform. Those guards aren’t allowed to be captured looking undignified. He let me keep this one.

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It was a bit of an awkward moment that I didn’t let deter us from having fun.

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The rest of this is spent visiting older-generation family. We visited two grandmas (great-grandmas to Mina), and their living conditions were in opposite spectrum. They had someone to care for them, but one lived in a tiny apartment, and the other in a very nice villa (equivalent to a house). Such were the circumstances they ended up in, for reasons I won’t elaborate. They were both relatively healthy, for being in their 90s and over a 100 years old! They were of sharp mind, even if they were a little weak. They were cared for and loved. That is all that matters in the end.

One of the most memorable part of visiting them was me having to squat in a typical Moroccan toilet, pre-Western version.

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That last image is of Mina arranging her Great-Grandma’s blanket around her. This lady is over a 100 years old. Longevity runs in the family. She is stooped over, and can hardly walk. But when my husband came to visit, he got her to dance. It was a wonderful visit.

Resource: For a list of Moroccan dishes, see this entry

Related: Arrival in Rabat

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