December 22, 2011
by Kunal Modi in Rabat, Morocco
We took a ferry from Algericas, Spain and crossed the Straight of Gibraltar to Tangier port in Morocco. The ferry ride was scenic and so was the ride from Tangier to Rabat. We were lucky to find a place, over looking the ocean, to stay on the coast of Rabat. Thanks Jennifer for hosting us and providing a scenic roof. Through Jennifer we met some really nice friends of hers who are teachers in an internation school in Rabat. They had a lots of interesting stories to share with us.
Common languages spoken in Rabat are Arabic and French. People are warm and welcoming. The small towns and rural areas aren’t much different from what I have seen in my limited travel in India. The streets are always bustling with noise. Traffic and people are all over. The market which is called the ‘medina’, sells all the local items. It is a bit like ‘bluleshwar’ or ‘kabootarkhana’ local markets in Mumbai, where streets are so narrow and confusing that tourists tend to loose their way. The medina and the old city of Rabat are enclosed by walls. These are similar to Mughal built walled cities in India. Surprisingly the ambulance made to most of these roads except for a small skirmish with a Volkswagen’s front mirror. The owners of the car were friendly and guided us through the Moroccan’s car insurance procedure, the last thing we wanted to know about Morocco. Though salads, pasteries and juices are available in plenty of varieties a filling vegetarian meal is hard to find. I have been mostly having bread and juices mostly. But it has been a delight for my teammate Mike, who has been on a roll trying street food from the narrowest and remotest lanes in Rabat. Respect. We are waiting for the Mauritanian visa today and then plan to drive to Marrakech, south to Rabat.</p>
Apparently, Bollywood is big in Morocco. We met some local young girls in Rabat who talked about Shah Rukh Khan, Devdas and Aishwarya Rai.
In general, the Last Responders project has been appreciated by almost anyone who sees the ambulance and helped us in someway or the other.
Looking forward to more experiences.
Onward to Timbuktu, – Kunal