From Dubai to Doha, then Doha to Casablanca, I arrived with much excitement to spend few days for the very first time in North Africa! The feeling of departing from my current home-base in UAE in mid October, and arriving in another continent was probably comparable to that wonder when a child finally unwraps his gifts under the Christmas tree after waiting for days and weeks. Hours spent in waiting at terminals and hopping from one airport to another were all worth it!
Traveling has been effective in making me more appreciative of those little things in life. That crisp and fresh Moroccan air that went down my lungs as I stepped out of Qatar Airways. That friendly and welcoming response from a staff of Aeroport Mohammed V when I inquired about directions to train station that took me from Casablanca to Rabat. Those deep breaths that I’ve taken as I embarked again on a solo journey in a place inscribed in my bucket list.
Following my long haul flight, I happily found myself seated inside the first class cabin en route to Rabat, the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. I never heard myself utter a single complaint, despite I needed to walk briskly, almost running in phase, from the airport to the train ticket counter just to catch the 9:55AM train departure with a 50-liter-backpack behind my shoulders, and a large duffle bag in tow.
A sip of cappuccino, a munch of my favorite potato chips and more than an hour train ride, I reached a station where passengers bound for Rabat were instructed to alight, cross the underground pass below the tracks and wait for about half an hour to hop on another train. No problemo! :)
Few minutes after high noon, I had an initial glimpse of Gare-Rabat Ville, the 50-year-old train station in Morocco’s capital city.
Finally, Rabat, Morocco!
Admittedly overwhelmed during the first few minutes of arrival, excitement continued as I hailed a blue petit-taxi-cab from the main boulevard in Rabat and went my way to my preferred accommodation.
Because I reckon traveling as a therapy and a reward for myself, I did not sacrifice comfort and convenience during this trip as I favored staying in a luxurious accommodation where interiors and architecture were Andalusian-inspired.
The riad or the courtyard was more contemporary than the very traditional, Riad Rcif in Fes.
I checked in and took the glass-lift to the penthouse.
I actually wanted to book the suite after the wooden door (on the right of the photo above), as I found it more regal and elegant on photos on their website, however it’s already reserved for the honeymoon of another guests. The next door (on the left of the photo above) leads to my room.
That wonderful room with vibrant green accents opens to a small balcony that offers a sweeping view of Rabat!
Since I haven’t eaten any meals yet other than inflight food, I opted to sample my first Moroccan dish from the riad itself. From their menu, I chose a very tasteful and tender Chicken Tagine, served with aubergine and veggie side dishes, plus piping hot Moroccan bread. Yummy!
That hearty late brunch was followed by a pre-arranged and guided city tour.
The next day, I savored the breakfast inclusive of the package I availed, before I went my way to my next destination in Morocco. The blue pearl of Northen Africa, Chefchaouen.
I’m thankful I made this short but absolutely memorable trip to Morocco.
It reminded me I could be happier by doing more positive things, over and beyond others’ unnecessary expectations.