Travel

Rabat and the beautiful Riyad

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This summer I went to Morocco for the first time, which is really belated since my husband is actually Moroccan. Since his cousin was getting married over there we couldn’t procrastinate the visit anymore and just went for two weeks. My bestie who was visiting from New York also tagged along, which was really great timing.

We went to Fez first and from there to Sidi Kasem and on to Rabat. The capital Rabat is not exactly the most popular destination but it was the closest worthwhile destination, being only 2 hours away from Sidi Kasem. So my lovely husband and me took the train there with our friend who went on to Marakesh.

The train ride was surprisingly comfortable. I have to admit I did not expect the train system in Morocco to be this efficient. The train was on time, spacious, clean and air conditioned ( well at least in first class). If you speak arabic you can also have interesting conversations with other passengers in your cabin. All the fellow travelers we met seemed very nice and social, unfortunately they only speak Arabic and French so I couldn’t really communicate with anyone.

Once we got to Rabat however, the cab driver from the station dropped us off in front of the old city, which you can’t enter by car and we had to figure out the way to our riyat by ourselves. It was very tricky as you can tell from the pictures:

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which way to go?

And of course there are not many street signs…

After a while of walking in circles we finally found the riyat and the way was well worth it! In case you are wondering what a riyat is: it is basically an old fashioned, traditional Moroccan villa with an inner court yard, that has been functioned into a sort of hotel/ b’n’b. In my opinion the way better than a hotel. From the outside riyats look very unimpressive and perfectly melt into the rest of the buzzling street:

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However once you step inside you will get a surprise, here is the inner court yard of the riyat:

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view of court yard from the top

view of court yard from the top

Despite the Riyat being in a busy, loud street we were not able to hear a single sound once inside the court yard. Apparently this is due to the architecture of the building.

Of course we were greeted Moroccan style with mint tea and cookies

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Our suit was not bad looking neither:

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Even the bathroom was kept in this beautiful authentic style

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I was impressed by the quality of the handwork and craftsmanship, which was even exhibited in the doors

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Things kept on getting better: Breakfast was served for the two of us in this reception/ dining room

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Needless to say that the bread was made from scratch.

The view from the rooftop

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The next day it was time to explore Chellah, an ancient city that was destroyed by an earthquake and 1145 AD. It was impressive to say the least:

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Such a nice way to spend the day

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And last, Rabat at night time

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