Thursday, May 01, 2008

FIRST TIME IN MOROCCO

RABAT - NOVEMBER 2006

Rabat, located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, is the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. It is said to be the closest capital city to Lisbon, even closer than Madrid, which is only 650km far away! Probably due to its short distance, it took a bit for me to get there. It happened in Fall 2006...




"HASSAN TOWER - The construction began to be built in 1195 AD, under sultan Yacoub al-Mansour, and was intended to be the largest minaret in the world to crown world's largest mosque. In 1199 al-Mansour died and the construction stopped; the tower reached only 44m from its intended 86m. The tower's design plan is said to have been modelled on the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, which was also the model for the Giralda tower in Seville. Each façade of the minaret is patterned with different motifs on each face"


"HASSAN MOSQUE - Only several walls and 200 columns were built and what was built was largely destroyed during the famous Lisbon earthquake in 1755"




"MAUSOLEUM - The Mausoleum of Mohammed V, a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture and one of the great monuments of modern Morocco, was inaugurated in 1967 and contains the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. The deceased king lies in a sarcophagus of Pakistani white onyx under a gilt cupola made of mahogany and Lebanon cedar"


"OUDAYA KASBAH - The Kasbah fortress, on the south bank of the Bou Regreg estuary, was named after a garrison of mercenaries from the Oudaïa tribe that was set up in Rabat. The Oudaïas, Arab in origin, arrived in Morocco in the 13th century and the sultan Moulay Ismail sent them to Rabat with orders to defend the town. Started to be built in the 12th century, and reinforced during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Kasbah was the Almohade citadel of medieval Rabat, and it is guarded by this arched gate - Bab-Al-Oudaïas ou Bab El Kébir - built around 1195"


"THE PALACE - The Kasbah is an airy «village within the city», and a pleasant place to take a stroll to admire some interesting architecture. It was due to the quality of the Kasbah fortress that Rabat became an imperial capital"


"THE MUSEUM is situated in the opulent lodge built by Moulay Ismail in the seventeenth century after he subdued the pirate republic of Rabat and took over the Kasbah as a garrison for the Oudaias, a Saharan tribe who formed the bulk of his mercenary army. Today the palace houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts featuring exhibits such as Berber jewellery, costumes and local carpets"


"ANDALUCIAN GARDEN is the first of the Kasbah's masterpieces. The exuberance of the vegetation softens the strict geometry of its paths with flowerbeds, bougainvillea and fragrant herbs. A wonderful garden!"



"CAFE MAURE - A visit to the Kasbah is not complete without a stop at the Cafe Maure, which has beautiful views of the river and the sea, to savour gazelle horns (a Moroccan cake) with a mint tea, looking at the boats which dance in the Bou Regreg River at the bottom of the Sale city ramparts"


"OLD QUARTER HOUSES - The houses near the Kasbah and the medina have the delightful white colour on their walls"




"THE MEDINA or old city was created by Muslim refugees from Badajoz in Spain, and is fairly small and uncomplicated when compared to the colourful old city sections of Marrakech or Fez and not as interesting or attractive as these two cities. It is surrounded by water on two sides, and by city walls constructed in the 12th and 17th Centuries. Souika Street is the main artery, where you will find the leather sellers, and in Consules Street shops sell souvenirs and Moroccan craft items such as the famed Rabat carpets"

45 comments:

Trotter said...

Hi everybody! This is the first of a series of posts on some Moroccan cities. Casablanca is just one hour flight from Lisbon, so it would make sense to fly there more often. But, as it is so close, one tends to leave it to the end; that’s why it took some time to get there… Anyhow, it seems to be a nice contrast to Switzerland, and I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for your comments!

alicesg said...

Happy May Day, trotter. Another nice set of photos and good travel story. I love to look at the shops and see what beautiful crafts that they sell. Thanks for sharing.

traveler one said...

Wow- a spectacular set of photos this time Gil! I have to put this on my list of places to see in my lifetime!

I also want to say thanks to you for taking the time to put together such wonderful posts for us. I realise just how much time and thought goes into each and every one. Thank you!

Clarence said...

hi GMG,

i m still alive, yeah.
blog's a lil dead though.

been busy with work, not much time to smell the flowers by the side of the road.

i'm amazed that u haven't run out of pictures/posts to update yr blog with!
haha!

Titania Starlight said...

Hello Trotter,
It is always a pleasure to drop by and learn about places that I may never get a chance to see. I especially enjoyed the Andalucian Gardens. Anything to do with nature.... I love. Also Consules Street looked interesting. That little shop called out to me. :o)

Looking forward to the next adventure.

Take care,
Titania

Noushy Syah said...

You are right! The closer you are,you tend to visit last since you could go anytime!..

Ask me how many times have I been to the London's eye?hehhehhe..once and that's it...at the end of the day,you are not anxious to go again bcoz you could always go there at any time..

BTW,something different about Morocco...we see more Arabic like's culture here, no doubt! Thanks for sharing.

Wendy said...

Hi Gil,
I loved Rabat! I envy your proximity to Morocco and look forward to your upcoming posts.

M.KATE said...

Dear Gil, you make me so jealous and envious of your travelling trips, how i wish i could jet-around like you and visit all this exotic site and morocco is definitely a place I want to go!! happy weeekend Gil, cant wait for your next post :)

Marguerite-Marie said...

une belle escapade au Maroc que je ne connais pas.De belles photos.

alexander said...

Stunning photos!
I've never been to Morocco, but the place sure looks very beautiful.

Have a nice weekend.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

99 said...

Great pictures Gil!
I just loved the Old Quarters and particularly the filigree market roof .
Thanks for sharing!

Beefybob7 said...

Hi Gil,

Very interesting. The Kasbah gate, alot of greenery and only an hour from your home.

Rock the Kasbah,

Bob

Susanne49 said...

Morocco is magic, no question! I loved your post and I've found myself strolling trough all those little streets to see that beautiful and so special(maurische)architecture. Unfortunately I've never been in Morocco myself when I was living in Switzerland.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us and thank you so much for all your wonderful compliments today about my photography on my blog.

Azer Mantessa said...

hi,

i thought i'll be seeing more of the alps but surprisingly am taken to morrocco. it is different scenery all together.

you are very lucky having the privilege to visit a closer place in the end of list. my in-laws are so close by and i just can't escape them

:(((((

Ming the Merciless said...

I didn't realize you (Lisbon) was so close to Morocco.

Love the photos.

Lara said...

this was indeed a surprise! love the atmosphere, the light and the shadows!

Shionge said...

Wow! You been there too???? Excellent photo Gil and now all we have to ask you is which country have you miss ;)

Nice post Gil :D

Paz said...

Oh, Morocco! Awesome! This is one place I'd love to visit one day. As usual, your photos are wonderful and I love to see you in the photos. You always look very good in all your locations.

Paz

Chuckeroon said...

Hi Trotter! Glad you liked the cattle shots and what not.

A real Trotter feast for us this week....My wife will devour your Morocco stuff (she lived there..I've never been) and I'll eat up yur Berner Oberland remembering a trip over 40 yrs ago!!

missy said...

Blimey, great pics, thanks for the comment, will add your blog to my links if thats ok.
That picture of the shop looks my kinda place!
Take care, missy

freefalling said...

So, so beautiful!
That first photo is a real "bewdy"!
I gotta go back and look at it again.
These photos have really stirred me up - I don't have many countries on my "wish list" but maybe Morocco needs to go on it!

lv2scpbk said...

Love the lamp post on the 1st photo.
The 3rd photo is beautiful. Looks like a ping pong game and the people look so small next to those pillars.
The keyhole type photo is neat.
And, the ceiling is pretty on the quarter houses or where you were shopping. Looked like alot of stuff to choose from in the shops.

julia said...

Have always fancied visiting Morocco. My relative is there now along with tour of Spain. She wrote of the siesta - everyone should have a siesta!

alice said...

Bonjour Gil! Le Maroc...Encore un pays qui me tente!

Nihal said...

Bonsoir Gil,
Morocco is Morocco, and thanks for your travel notes:)
By the way, you say 'un nouveau pays'? Well, let me C if it's about my city Istanbul;))) Or notes from your recent travel paid in Brasil?
Impatiently waiting for your upcoming article, please hurry up as the summer is upon us, and I may be beyond clicks;))

Have a great weekend,

~Nihal

Dick said...

Great pictures, thank you for showing us. I hope to visit you each week but many things to do the next few months.

Elizabeth said...

Dear blogtrotter!
Greetings from Marrakech.
I have never been to Rabat - but you make it look really interesting.
Will read more later.

April said...

What an interesting country. You are a real 'blog'trotter.

Dsole said...

Gil!
I love seeing bigger your pictures! even I think you should fix somethings of the design of your blog it's cool and wow! I enjoy a lot the new size of your pics!
I've never been to Morocco, and that's a shame, maybe at the end of this summer if i have a chance. Until then I'll enjoy your pis!
You look great, by the way!
See you soon :)

Nikon said...

Beautiful shots, Gil. I especially liked the garden shot - maybe the green was a change from all of the earth-tones?
(I'm a big fan of the movie "Casablanca" where the whole object of the movie is to get to Lisbon :-)

Jules said...

Great part of the world and your photos reflect this - although I couldn't download them all!!

K M F said...

Great pictures Gil!
Have a nice day

Ash said...

Morocco? WOW!!!
Fantastic images...the buildings, colors and craft shops...

SusuPetal said...

Hi Gil, and a sunny May for you!

I'll be looking forward to your Moroccon posts. I've been to Morocco three times, seen various cities (like Rabat), so this trip with you and your posts will be a thrill and a stroll along the memory lane.

Lucky you, it takes almost 7 hours to fly from Finland to Morocco!

lyliane said...

Superbe pays aussi que le Maroc,je suis allée à Marrackech il y a 2 ans, mais ne connais pas Rabat, l'architecture dans les 2 villes se ressemble beaucoup, à part quelques détails spécifiques à chacunes.J'ai aussi beaucoup aimé, mais un peu trop chaud à mon goût, pourtant c'était en mai.

Kuanyin said...

Having spent time in Morocco with lots of adventures, it was fun catching the flava again from your wonderful photos! Mahalo for keeping up with me with your comments.

Stella Bella said...

Nice photos again. And the last picture of you is lovely! :)

Cuckoo said...

Morocco looks like a beautiful place. I liked the market and the blue sky most.

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes'NL said...

Great places, and Yes I do remeber all the colours and the souks( markets) the herbs and the fruit, the welldressed people, and the desert ( we drove into the desert) all the hanging heads from "meat to cook" at the buthers, (all outside in the open air!!). The way you show it by photography, is all and individual very facinating to me:) Thanks again fr showing this all to me:)

We have visited Switersland so therefor I could not visit your blog, but I will (always) as soon as I am back home. I am now...

JoAnn (now in Holland)

Indrani said...

Great story of Morocco with good picures too. Enlightening.

btw have u missed out any country in the world?

Trotter said...

Hi folks, great to read you all here. Sorry for the delay in replying, but too much to do and some pain in my back (disc hernia) prevented me from making it sooner… ;((

Alice SG,
Thanks! Beautiful crafts, but a lot of bargaining needed… ;))

Kim,
A bit time consuming, I agree… but a great pleasure to read that visitors enjoy and comment! Thanks!

Clarence,
Great to see that you’re alive!!! Wish you all the best in the country with one of the most difficult weathers in the world… ;)))

Titania,
Glad to see that you liked; the Andalucía gardens are a great place to enjoy…

Noushy Syah,
Like the Portuguese saying «home saints don’t do miracles»… Morocco is a wonderful surprise!

Wendy,
Quite close actually!

M.Kate,
No need to be envious… ;))

Marguerite-Marie,
Vraiment une escapade…

Alex,
Put it on your travel list…

99,
Beautiful filigree roof, I agree…

Bob,
That’s true; one hour from home and a marvellous couscous and lamb tagines waiting for you…

Sue,
Time to get back to Europe and visit what you missed; Portugal at the top…
Compliments were truly deserved; your pictures were stunning!

Azer,
Unfortunately, my picture of the Atlas (not the Alps) was too poor to upload…
Great to be close, I see… ;)))

Ming,
Amazing, isn’t it? One hour flying from Lisbon and there you land in Casablanca International Airport!

Lara,
Nice surprise, hopefully!

Shionge,
Don’t mention the places I’ve not been to… It makes me sick… ;((

Paz,
Easy: just make New York-Lisbon (enjoy it) and then, Lisbon-Casablanca… :)

Chockeroon,
Great to make it a lovely family evening!

Missy,
Honoured to be linked!
Prepare to bargain if you want to shop there… ,))

Letitia,
Since Morocco is so close to Lisbon, you may also put Portugal on your wish list… ;))

Barb,
Agree with you on that first picture; the lamp is gorgeous. It looks like some lamps in Lisbon… I wasn’t shopping; bargaining is not my deal… ;)

Julia,
If your relative is taking siestas after siestas, I wonder what is she seeing… ;)))

Alice,
Le Maroc est très séduisant… Déjà on peut le constater dans le carnet de voyage de Delacroix… ;))

Nihal,
Nouveau because Morocco was not yet in my list; Istanbul is not new; well, sunny Istanbul will be new… One day, OK!

Dick,
Great pleasure to see you here! Hope you manage to deal with everything you have to do…

Elisabeth,
Being in Marrakech and never getting to Rabat is probably more difficult that living in Lisbon and never having been to Morocco… ;)) Hope to see you back!

April,
Thanks!

Dsole,
Dear, always great to see you here. I’m still dealing with the awful background of this template, but at least the large pictures are better seen now…
End of the summer? I would suggest autumn or early spring, otherwise, even for someone used to a hell of weather at home (… ;)), it may be a bit hot… ;))
Thanks for the compliment; a bit aged and with some kilos on, if you compare with the 70s and 80s… ;)))

Paul,
I’m also a great fan of Bogey and Lauren! I’ll deal with that on my next post…

Jules,
Great to see you here! One day I would love to get to PNG… So, we exchange trips! ;))
Sorry for the inconvenience on the download; I’ve reduced the number of posts per page and the size of pictures but still…

KMF,
Thanks! Everything fine at the Emirates, I suppose… or are you still in Kerala?

Ash,
You should profit from Cardiff to visit Portugal and then Morocco… ;))

Sususpetal,
Three times a seven hour flight? You must love Morocco… It’s well deserved that affection…

Lyliane,
Marrakech c’est différent; on le verra en bref… À mon avis il faut y aller à la fin d’octobre où au mois de mars/avril… Comme pour le Caire que je n’ai jamais réussi à visiter… ;(

Kuanyin,
Why did I suspect that you had been to Morocco and had lots of adventures there? ;)))
Glad to see you here!

Stella,
I’m flattered! But unfortunately, I’ve mirrors at home and pictures from the 70s and 80s… ;))

Cuckoo,
It’s true that the blue sky almost matches the sky in Lisbon… ;))

JoAnn,
Glad to see that you’re now stopping for ten days before departing again… ;))
Open air markets are amazing, and the souks terrific! See that you enjoyed Switzerland; I’ll check the pics asap!

Indrani,
Thanks, but please don’t mention the places I’ve never been to; it makes me travel-sick… ;(( Anyhow, it’s not such a small world…

Andrea Gerak said...

Wow Gil, this is one country on my wishlist. Thanks for the journey!

Trotter said...

Andrea,
WOW! Great to see you back! Thanks!
Make a stopover in Portugal on your way south...

backpakker said...

some of the buildings remind me of india..
lakshmi

Trotter said...

Lakshmi,
It's true that you could transplant some of those buildings to India and nobody would notice they were coming from abroad...