Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo Essay: Kasbah des Oudaïas And Le Tour Hassan, Rabat, Morocco

Crumpled and torn. Already battered, yet we were using it for the first time. Our toddler Luna prolly had too much fun playing with it. The map that Jahlil, our Couchsurfing host, doodled may not be Lonely Planet worthy but it served its purpose well. Which was to guide us through Rabat's labyrinth-like walled medina towards Kasbah des Oudaïas on the Atlantic Coast.

It was day 254 of our round-the-world trip.

Like many other administrative capitals of the world, Rabat does not have enough charm to seduce off the beaten path trotters. But for those who let themselves go astray in this relatively laid-back metropolis, a gem could be waiting around the corner. We found a handful of them.

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Bab Oudaia, magnificent gateway to Kasbah des Oudaïas. This Moorish arch was a project of Almohad Sultan, Yacoub al-Mansour, built in the twelfth century. 

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  An old man donning a Moroccan Berber robe strolling alongside his grandson whom Luna stalked for some time. 
 
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  Sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean from the Plateforme du Semaphore (Signal Platform).
 
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  Overlooking the city of Salé (believed to be the oldest city in the Atlantic Coast), on the opposite side of the Bou Regreg river.
 
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Stumbled upon a weaving center that's obviously set up for tourists. Surprisingly deserted.
 
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Inside Kasbah des Oudaïas, whitewashed houses line up along narrow alleys. Anyone can freely enter and wander around the kasbah. No admission fees, no guide needed.

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Tranquil Andalusian Gardens, popular to sauntering lovers, lie behind this wall.
 
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Overpriced Moroccan pastries from Cafe Maure, comes with an awesome view of the estuary. Ideal place to jot down those mushy sentiments on your journal.
 
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Because our visit is both a blessing and a celebration. Henna artwork done after much harassment from a Moroccan artist hanging out in Cafe Maure.
 
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Le Tour Hassan, Rabat's most famous landmark. Another project of Yacoub al-Mansour, a minaret that was supposed to be sixty meters high. The tower was abandoned when al-Mansour died.
 
Our three-day stopover in Rabat was a spontaneous move, initiated by a vague plan of meeting my Moroccan ex-boss whom I worked with for six months in Abu Dhabi four years ago. Due to conflicting schedules, we weren't able to meet up during those three days, but eventually did 19 days later on our last day in Morocco... An account for a different day.


31 comments:

Two2Travel said...
September 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Lovely photos! Tattoo looks very nice. Maganda pang-permanent kung hindi lang ganun kasakit! Hehe. ~nikka :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 20, 2012 at 7:48 PM

True, Nikka! Would be cool to have them tattooed permanently. The pattern's busy though, a bit too distracting. Haha.

blissfulguro said...
September 20, 2012 at 8:56 PM

those overpriced pastries looks yummy and very cookbook-ish :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM

They are indeed yummy, Carla. Most of them are almond flavored and not too sweet. My fave's the half-moon shaped pastry.

Gabe Mitra said...
September 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM

The food looks yummy!!!

Tin | The Average Jane said...
September 21, 2012 at 7:40 AM

I've always associated Morocco with blue skies and walls. Wonder why. =)

kim buenafe said...
September 21, 2012 at 8:19 AM

looks like Luna has developed a liking for the kid. :D

killerfillers said...
September 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

I love the intricate henna tattoo and the pastry looks delicious.

Wends of Journeys and Travels said...
September 21, 2012 at 9:26 AM

This is so inviting to see Morocco Gay! Your photos are as usual, impressive and Luna is just so adorable in her jacket. :)

Sky Summer said...
September 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM

It always made me recall about Santiago's wandering (The Alchemist)when I heard or saw a picture of Morocco. I dunno why :)

Mukhang masarap yung cookies at yung parang donut like :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Kim, "liking" is an understatement :D Twas more like, obsessing.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Doc Wends, thanksss! Oh I love that jacket we bought in Mexico. Too bad it's getting small for Luna na.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Sky & Summer, yeah the donut thingy tastes yum too.

Mary {The World Is A Book} said...
September 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Beautiful pictures, Gay! I love the architecture and those sweeping oceanviews. These were definitely not the usual Moroccan tourist pictures. Those Moroccan pastries look so delicious!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Thanks Mary! Sooo happy we stopped by Rabat. It ain't touristy.

Francis Balgos said...
September 21, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Luna had a great time!
Off Beaten path! lovely place! :)

Oman said...
September 21, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Awesome. First of all, happy birthday muna to Luna :)

I remembered your story about the henna tattoo. Ito pala yun :)

Anyways, great job on th story and great photos too.

Scolex said...
September 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

what a nice capture! What high-end camera are you using?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Thanks Oman! Belated happy birthday to you also :)

anney said...
September 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Parang ang sarap ng Moroccan pastries! kahit siguro overpriced e bibili ako para matikman!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Got the same sentiment, Anney.

Christian | LAKAD Pilipinas said...
September 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Beautiful architecture, unique henna tattoos, yummy food and free entrance! what more can you ask for? :)

rob said...
September 22, 2012 at 7:29 PM

.. those structures with their intricate designs are worth the visit.

.. i saw your video at cs website, maybe i'll couch-surf when i visit india soon. :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 22, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Oh, I hope you do try CS! Awesome experience :)

SunnyToast said...
September 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

The moroccan pastries! dedma ng kung mahal go parin akey! ma try lang! hahahaha!

docgelo said...
September 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

i smiled immediately after reading your caption in one of those photos that luna's already stalking someone her age! kids will be kids! :)

those moroccan pastries certainly look enticing!

Riz said...
September 24, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Gorgeous photos Gay! Pastries looks yummy! super like q ung Henna. :)

Joyce said...
September 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Wow fantastic views! Thanks for sharing these and good luck to your world tour. Hope you will share more!

wanderme said...
September 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM

fantastic pictures! loving this northern african leg of your world tour

soloflightEd said...
October 1, 2012 at 4:17 AM

these spontaneous sidetrips are always a treat! ganda tignan ng dagat! :)

joei ♥ said...
October 2, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Wow! Your photos are beautiful! Want to go here someday :)

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