Back and forth the street wound through magnificent blue and white buildings, as we followed a kind stranger through the maze of the old Medina. Doors of every shape and color appeared at each turn and we felt as if we were deep in the heart of the fortress, when it opened into a cafe that overlooked the magnificent coastline of the city. The tall wall that surrounded this medina rose up where it met the ocean, so the taste of our perfect mint tea was sipped was accompanied by the crashing of the waves upon the cliffs and wall.
Welcome to Morocco! It’s a land of treasure hidden around every narrow street corner, spices and sweets, mint tea, beautiful landscapes, the best views of the stars, the softest sand, wonderful people and music and dancing everywhere!
We spent our first day in Rabat exploring the capital city. It is a lovely mix of the contemporary and historic culture. Brand new buildings with modern architecture, stand next to a mosque with beautifully cut designs overlaid with mosaics. Young girls with tank tops and capris walked alongside Women dressed in full hijab, and old adobe cafés advertised wifi to draw customer in.
We wandered the city, and made friends in order to practice our French, learn more Arabic, and get to know morocco! We drank fresh orange juice and ate fresh dates, both Moroccan favorites, and ate an incredible dinner by the ocean. After a delicious dinner of Tajine we played soccer on the beach and watched the sunset over the ocean, a familiar site but one that will never grow old.
As the sun sank down over the vast expanse, a sound not yet familiar to our ears sounded for the last time that day:the call to prayer.
The whole world stopped. The fisherman that surrounded us on the pier put down their poles, kneeled on the ground and all faced Mecca. As we walked back towards the train station, the sidewalks were lined with prayer mats and people kneeling in them, and buses and cars stopped in the street, for nearly half an hour their world ceased.
The sight humbled me and left me in awe of this religion and these people. Five times every day they not only are reminded of what they believe, but they respond and act upon what they believe. Their world stops to acknowledge Allah, whom they love and worship, and how powerful it is to see almost an entire city come together in these moments at the end of the day.