20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Gare de Rabat








If yesterday was a wet Wednesday it was nothing compared to wet and windy Thursday. It started off slightly grey and damp which was fine for the walk up to Institut Pasteur early this morning. As medical matters go that was one of the least painless and friendly ones I've ever had, the doctors English was only marginally better than my French but she was one of the jolliest people I've met. 10 minutes and I was done, a hole in my arm and a Carte Jaune in my pocket. It was also a seventh of the UK price.

I got back so early that I realised that I could check out and travel to Marrakech today but I thought better of it in case I had a reaction to the vaccine and bought a ticket for tomorrow.

This left me with a day to kill in Casa and I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do here. After reading the notes from the vaccine I realised that any side effects normally occur betzeen 4 and 7 days soI was safe for today. On the spur of the moment I decided to get the train to Rabat, strange since yesterday I was pleased to discover that I didn't need to go there. The weather was deteriorating when I got to the train station but I thought it might be fine in Rabat. Not a chance of it, it rained rather persistently on the way there but it had stopped by the time I arrived. The train journey was very reminicent of the trip from Chelmsford to London, flat and very green with a few gently rolling hills - except that the train was faster and more comfortable and a fraction of the price, and had the Atlantic coast one one side - not a bit like it then really.

I got a coffee and something to eat then headed down towards the medina. Rabat Medina is a pretty tame affair but I wish I could have photographed the smells which were magnificent, shame I'd just eated at the station. I ended up all the way through the medina in no time but as I was close to the shore I decided to investigate the sea front. The sea was wild, driving into the rocks and coast, a lighthouse right there made for a perfect photo opportunity. I spent quite a while down there looking for the best angles until I realised that more rain was imminent and I was a long way from cover. I started out towards the Kasbah and the wind really picked up, it got so strong that I could hardly stand up in it, I thought I might end up in the Land of Oz. When the rain came it was an instant drenching, although only on one side because of the wind. I eventually got to shelter behind a wall where I found a few other refugees already huddled.

When the wind and rain dropped to more earth like proportions I ran on to the Kasbah which looked interesting but I was too wet and cold to give it much time so drifted back through the Medina towards the station. I got back to the station and under one of the not particularly effective shelters before it had regathered it's strength for another round. Things were flying across the platforms, plantpots were blowing off ledges and the shelters were leaking, great entertainment. It continued to rain so heavily on the way back that the windows on one side were just a sheet of water. Halfway home the train slowed to walking pace for a while as the tracks were flooded.

It looks like it's been the same here in Casa as the streets were littered with debris, mainly palm fronds and small children. Either I or the cleaners left my windows open and my room has a lovely water feature at one end now.

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