By this time, I felt as if I had been awake for three days. The time change and the nerves were finally getting to me. I was however extremely excited for this next destination. Rabat. We had made it to the airport in time. The airline however was taking longer to depart than what we had expected. People didn’t have the correct seat numbers which created some confusion.
We finally arrived. We knew we needed money to get a taxi to get to the hotel, but I didn’t do my research on what was the rate for dollars and dirhams. We took $300 dirhams out without really knowing what the conversion rate was. A lady outside told us that we had taken $300 U.S. Dollars. That was definitely more than the budget we had set aside for Morocco. Oh well. I couldn’t put it back on the ATM machine. So we got in our cab. He took us to the street nearest to the hotel only to tell us that it would be $400 dirhams. Say what? There was no way! I couldn’t believe it. He started arguing with us and we told him that all we had were the $300. To stop him from arguing we just told him we would give him $20 extra dollars. The conversion rate was $10 dirhams to the dollar, so in reality, we had only taken about $30 dollars out.
Needless to say, he dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. We were lost. And we looked lost. It was getting dark and for once I started regretting coming here. Within minutes the kids playing in the street came to help. We tried talking to them in English and Spanish but everyone spoke either French or Arabic. So sign language it was. They took us to a beautiful hotel. The owners quickly served us tea as we waited for our room.
Come to find out we were at the wrong place! A young man came to tell us he would take us to the correct one. He was super nice and offered to carry my backpack. Both hotels were owned by the same owner which is why the kids took us there. Our new hotel was less fancy but beautiful as well.
The hospitality we received in Rabat was amazing. Everyone was genuinely nice without wanting anything in return. We walked outside to try to find something to eat. There was tons of people outside and city vendors everywhere. We stayed out until about midnight, and then decided it was time to head back.
In the morning we got up extremely early. We wanted to enjoy the day as much as possible. Our hotel had a delicious breakfast waiting for us. We ate, showered and off we went!
We visited The Hassan Tower, The Museum of Muhammad, The Royal Palace of Rabat and got lost every place we went. I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to actually go inside or even take a few pictures of the outside. We managed to take as many as we could.
By the end of the day I realized that in this city we had experience something beautiful. We truly got to experience the culture of the people who lived here. There weren’t thousands of tourist like there were in London. The whole time it seemed like it was just us.
After a busy day of walking, I am now sitting in a train traveling to our next destination. Casablanca. The city made famous by the 1942 film. Can’t wait to see it!