Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Part 5 - from Fes to Rabat and back to Marrakesh.

We caught a train the next day to go in a westerly direction to Rabat – the political capital of Morocco – on the sea shore. We were met in Rabat by one of Aviva’s friends who used to work at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne when Aviva was there. Alexandra or ‘Alex’ originally comes from Paris where she met Ismail, a Moroccan man working for Connex. He was sent out to Australia and Alex came with him. I met Alex through Aviva and she is a really nice lady as is her husband. She took us to her house, which is a very fine house in a very fine area of Rabat. They have one son called Ilias - Fig 1.

Fig 1 - James,Barry,Aviva,Alex,Ismail holding Ilias.

They looked after us really, really well!

We visited the Hassan Tower and the ‘Mohammed V’ Mausoleum (grandfather to the current King) - Fig 2.

Fig 2 - the 'Mohammed V’ Mausoleum.

And, of course, a visit to the ‘Souk’ within the walled Medina - Fig 3.

Fig 3 - the Souk in the walled Medina.

On the Saturday an annual festival called ‘Aid el Adha’ was held. In this festival, every family that is able takes a sheep - Fig 4.

Fig 4 - a person carrying home a sheep.

The sheep is slaughtered in the morning and the heads are cooked on the street corners - Fig 5

Fig 5 - the smoke arising out of the cooking of the sheeps heads.

while the sheep’s meat is left for a day or so to mature. All of the morning the towns in Morocco are full of butchers with their sharp knives, going from house to house slaughtering the sheep. Each family is supposed to keep one-third of the meat, give a third to their neighbors and a third to the poor who cannot afford to slaughter a sheep. Ismail took us to the sea shore where you could see a red wash coming from all the blood that had flowed through the drains in town.

We waited for the train at Rabat station, and whilst we were waiting we just had to take a photo - Fig 6!

Fig 6 - Barry, Aviva and James.

After Rabat we went by train to Casablanca (also on the coast) and then inland in a southerly direction to Marrakesh again for one night before we went back to wintery, blustery London!

Fig 7 - clear, sunny Marrakesh!

It was so warm in Marrakesh - Fig 7 – and so cold in London.

I hope that you have enjoyed my foody travelogue of Morocco!

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