Friday, May 8, 2009

Onward to Rabat

We left Chefchaouen and were on our way to Rabat. Rabat is the capital of Morocco. We crossed the "Pont de Loukkos", the former border between the Spanish protectorate and the French part of Morocco.
We rode through an area with thousands of olive trees. We stopped at an olive oil mill. Our tour guide must stop there on most tours. It was a real working olive oil mill. However, they had stopped making olive oil for the season. The methods are very primitive, as you can see...

Our tour guide Jens was making an ass of himself!!

The olive oil farmer was very anxious to show us how he extracts the oil from the olives. He was very generous and shared some of his fresh olive oil with the group. It was really neat to interact with a 'native'.

After we left the olive oil farm we continued toward Rabat. We had to ride on one of the worst roads I can ever remember riding on. A least the worst supposedly paved road. This is the best picture I could get of the road.

Those pot holes were everywhere. They were caused by all the rain they'd gotten during the winter. The tour guide said that the road wasn't that bad last year. Everyone was all over the road, just trying to avoid the potholes. I did discover that we could ride the bike with both of us standing up!

We had lunch on the coast...another seafood platter.

Once we got into Rabat we encountered some crazy traffic. It was our first introduction to Morocco traffic. Lane markings were just a suggestion. Cars would try and squeeze by incredibly close. Then there were the scooters...those people are crazy!! It was definitely interesting. Mike loved riding in the traffic. Our tour guide didn't exactly know where the hotel was at (he said it was the first time he'd stayed there). A local jumped on his bike to show him the way.
Once we got to the hotel, Mike and I walked down to the Medina. It was full of locals doing their shopping. There really weren't very many tourist and it was pretty neat to feel like you were getting a peak at how some of the locals lived. It was very crowded at times and it was easy to get lost with all the people and narrow alleyways.

We ended up walking out of the Medina and came upon this old fortress...I have no idea what it was.
If I'd have been by myself, I'd have never found the hotel again. But Mike was able to navigate us through the Medina and we came out near the hotel. Impressive!


Anonymous said...

These pictures are all so cool! It's like you are on Amazing Race! :) Glad you guys had a nice trip.

Sue said...

Hey Melissa, so glad that you are enjoying yourself. Your photos and dialogue of your trip are great!! Love the pot hole filled road. Can't wait to hear more stories of being with the "natives"! Love ya!!