Monday, March 17, 2008

Last Day in Morocco

Well I had a somewhat frustrating day. The two things I most wanted to see were both closed. First, I wanted to start the day by visiting the Archaeological Museum, which was hard to find since neither the taxi driver nor anyone in that neighborhood seemed to know where it was. I had to get out of the taxi and walk around for a while only to run into the same taxi driver again who pointed me the right way after he figured it out. But the museum was closed.

I then visited the Kasbah des Oudaias, where I was hassled quite a bit at the entrance, but I made it through the gauntlet and enjoyed a visit to the Jewelry museum, Andalusian gardens and le plateform. I noticed a few men dressed up as Gnaoui musicians who were trying to make money by posing for pictures with them. It's the second time I've noticed fake Gnaoui musicians in Morocco--the first time was in a kitschy restaurant in Fes. Anyhow I gave in to the temptation to get a picture with them.

I then visited the never completed Hassan Mosque and the neighboring mausoleum. After that I visited the chellah, which is an odd multi-cultural site with Roman ruins next to mosque ruins. After that I went to Sale, the neighboring town, hoping to get to the medersa before it closed at 4:30. Unfortunately the gardien left early for the day since tourist traffic is somewhat low. I was really looking forward to seeing the medersa, since medersas seem to be the most interesting buildings in Morocco. I wound up taking a long walk around the medina and then strolling across the bridge to Rabat while the sun set over the ocean. The beauty of the sunset resolved the tension of the day, but I did end up lost once I crossed the bridge. Fortunately a taxi wasn't too far off.

While in Sale, I had a pastry binge and after dinner here I had another one. I think I like traditional Moroccan pastries more than French ones, especially since they're similar to Indian nut-based pastries.


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