"Rabat or Salé" Sale by JLBG
Sale Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 104 photos
Salé is the twin town to Rabat. It is a few kilometers away, across the Bou Regreg oued (river). There is just a bridge to pass. From that bridge, you can see, very close, the Rabat Hassan tower. However the medina of Rabat and the medina of Salé are two different worlds. As I wrote in my Rabat page, the medina and the souk of Rabat are open to everyone, locals and foreign visitors (not many real tourists)
This closed door is not the entrance in the medina of Salé though it might be an ancient entrance, as it is a few meters away from the real one but it symbolise well the atmosphere of the medina of Salé. We were three, two female companions and myself. I felt perfectly at ease but later, they told me that they were not. We strolled in a way with open air shops on both sides, selling underwears of all kind (actually, not really of all kind, if you see what I mean...), traditionnal clothing, aluminum and plastic kitchenware and everything that inhabitants of the medina needed for their living. Nothing for tourists. Why should there be ? It was evident that, though a few kilometers away from the Rabat medina, no foreigner ever wandered there. That made a strange athmosphere. There were hundreds of pairs of eyes watching us, watching these strange and unusual visitors, just curious. Often one of those guys (or even young girls !) said ''bonjour, ça va?'' (hello, how are you ?) and as I answered ''oui, ça va, labes'' (yes, that's OK [in french], that's OK [in arab]) that was it and none of them tried to go further with us as it happens in some touristy places. They were friendly but we were the aliens.
In such an environment, that would have been gross to take any photo. I did not. We would have shifted from the status of friendly aliens to the status of aggressive invaders. Better not.
I had already experienced that kind of situation elsewhere (Thinking of Tirana in 1990 with my beard !) but in that case, the amazing thing was that we were so close to Rabat, a ''modern'' town, where foreigners are not even noticed.
Another amazing thing is that outside the medina, but still in Sale, the atmosphere is completly different.
You must go to "Vilarmar", which means ''VILlage des ARts MARrocains'' (village of Moroccan Arts). It is called also the articraft center El-Oulja. It is worth the visit even if you are not going to buy anything. You will see all the possible articraft from all over Morocco. You will not be hassled by anybody. If you want to buy articrafts, this is the place. Unlike in the souk, each articraft has its price labelled which means that you cannot haggle, or sometimes only a little. This is fully described under the shopping head of this page.
When you come from Rabat, drive across the Bou Regreg oued and take the road to Meknès, you will first pass the Dawliz... more travel advice
In Vilarmar, there is only craftsman that makes with rattan and makes all sorts of rattan articraft : lamps, chairs,... more travel advice
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- "Rabat or Salé"
- "Where time stopped long time ago :-)"
- "Sale' - Morocco"
- "La beba in Salé"
- "sala wi la"
- "Sale 2011"
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