Since we had escaped from Fes a day earlier than planned, we got an extra night to use. From Chefchaouen we decided to go to Ouzzanne – a small village about 70 km away. According to the map, this is the last reasonable spot on the Chefchaouen – Rabat route, so we decide to stay there. Writing reasonable, I mean small, quiet, non-touristic, but at the same time large enough to find there a place to stay for a night.
We reach the place in the afternoon and begin our search. We like very much the first hotel, but unfortunately, it doesn’t fit our budget. The next two are cheap, but rather awful, and there is no shower (!). We are beginning to worry, because how many hotels can be in such a small town? Fortunately there is one more, the bathroom is present, the price is reasonable, and the level of nastiness is objectively average. We are into this deal. We leave our stuff and go for a walk. Here we decided to go for it and buy souvenirs, because the next (and the last) stop is Rabat – the capital of the country. We don’t expect good prices there.
We find a workshop where tajins are made and we buy one to bring to Poland. The choice is wide. We decide on a version without colorful decor, it looks more traditional and less indulgent.
Clay pot weighs and takes its volume, but in the end we will somehow get into this hand luggage. Michal also buys another djellaba. The choice here is huge – all the long street of the bazaar is one big stall with djellabas. The choice of materials, colors and decorations can be overwhelming. However, we find “the one” (djellaba we bought earlier in Beni Mellal under the pressure of the situation was not what Michal dreamed of) and we manage to negotiate the price to a quite good level. In addition, we buy 3 kg of dates as a take away to Poland. Because of wearing a heavy backpack no one has yet died. Probably.
Next morning we head to the road towards Rabat to catch a ride. Now we give you a small tip how NOT to hitchhike. When a delivery truck stops and the drivers don’t want to say exactly where they are going, just saying “get in, get in” is a bad sign. Even worse sign is when there is not enough places in the driver’s cabin for all the people and they want one person (girl of course) to get in the truckload space. And the worst is when it is a fish carrying cooler – big, wet and cold box without light, stinking and additionally without option to open from the inside. And of course, we don’t know where the driver is going, because when asked “Are you going in the direction of Rabat?” They nodded willingly, but when asked (several times) to tell the name of the village they are going to, they pretended not to understand. Under no circumstances don’t get into such cars. We didn’t. We don’t know what could have happened. Maybe nothing and I would just be cold, wet and smelly. Maybe not. It’s better to stand longer than to risk. Fishy situation 🙂 However, we were going in a similar configuration (I was in the back, Michal was next to the driver), but then there was a window (I saw where I was and what was happening), there was a hole between the pack and the driver’s cab, we knew where we were going, and the driver made me a comfortable seat: he covered the tyre in which he held couple of cauliflowers with a thick the blanket. And it didn’t smell like fish, of course.
We get to Sale, a village bordering Rabat with normal passenger cars quite early. We grab a dinner and try to go to Rabat full of hope that still today we will be able to visit something. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Catching a ride on the main busy road in the middle of the city turns out to be impossible, so we have to go about 3km to the tram, then go take a petit taxi to reach the meeting point with our host, Mohcine. Then it turns out that from that point it’s still about 3 km to his apartment. It’s on the outskirts, on the other side of the city than the medina. Today we are not going to make it to the old town. We limit ourselves to shopping and printing boarding passes for tomorrow’s flight to Brussels. Already during this evening walk we notice how much Rabat differs from the other cities we visited. Except that the city is definitely bigger, it is also more European. We make it to see the lighting of the Maroc Telecom tower.
The next day from the morning we are sightseeing in an express mode. Mohcine goes with us to guide us, for which we are very grateful to him, because we quickly move between the more important places, not wandering with the nose in the GPS.
In less than half a day, with a little rush, we manage to explore everything that must be seen in Rabat. At Mohcine’s house we are served with a delicious dinner, and his dad offers to take us to the tram that we are taking to the airport. Golden people! Otherwise we would have to go a long way and change means of transport more times, which would take a lot of time. We buy for the last dirhams some food for the road and we go to the airport. The check-in is quite detailed, fortunately we are there three hours before departure. Boarding passes are checked exactly 9 times. Only 3 hours flight time, overnight on Charleroi Airport, another 2 hours flight (plus delay time), confusion of trains in Modlin and we are home!
In conclusion: Morocco is a truly remarkable country. It’s worth discovering it “from the inside”, not only from the touristic point of view. We have heard earlier that the number of touts, harassers and beggars is tiring and after some time we wouldn’t want to be in this country any longer. Therefore, we strongly recommend to take a moment to visit smaller towns, which seem to have nothing interesting to offer. Exactly there you can find the most Moroccan bazaars, most local food (beware of the cow ears!) and take a break from the so-called “myfriends”. Our tour in brief: Marrakech – Essaouira – goats! – Agadir – Taroudant – Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Azillal – Ouzoud, monkeys! – Bin El Ouidane – Beni Mellal – Ifrane – Fes – Chefchaouen – Ouzzanne – Rabat. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go to the desert (Merzouga, Zaghora) and to Tinghir, which is also considered to be an absolutely mandatory point of trip to Morocco. But we don’t worry. At least we have a reason to go back there 😉