No, not another marina and not another Port town.
The city of Rabat (Row-bot) is separated by a river from another city named Sale (Sal-lay). The area has 1.3 million residents and although I don't see it as a third world country, it is obviously very, very poor. Language spoken in Arabic and French. Although they allow Christianity and other religions, the country is predominately Muslim. Five "call to Prayer" are chanted/sung from Mosques around town reminding me of my visit to Istanbul...except, these "singers" are REALLY off key. The Captain looked up what the call to prayer actually says and reported that all except the 5am say each line twice: God is Good. There is one God. Ala is god. God is good. There is one God. Then at 5am they add at the end "It is better to pray than to sleep." I woke up at 5 this morning and caught the methodical wailing chant in the background, rolled over and thought "I think I'll praise God today for my good extra sleep."
There is a distinct difference between Sale and Rabat's Medina markets. Sale's is rougher and poorer. Rabat, still poor has more paved streets and a better variety of crafts.
Amazing woodwork, hand sewn native dress with ornate decor and exotic fabrics are visible being made in the markets. Leather goods, shoes that remind me of "I dream of Jeannie", metal work, tea pots and ceramics. Exotic fabrics also make wonderful scarfs and bedspreads for sale in the markets. And of course, the rugs. Prices are MUCH cheaper than other destinations that we have visited. The money they use is Durham and the exchange is close to 10:1 compared to the Euro. So, 200 DH is really twenty Euro. A baguette of bread costs only 1.30DH (13 cents). The following are pictures from scenes in the Markets:
|Things for sale in Rabat|
|In Sale's market|
|Rabat's market at night|
|Scarfs in Rabat|