Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Postcard from Rabat

On our trip up the coast of Morocco in search of new stories for The View from Fez, the team is now in Rabat, the capital.

the new train station in Rabat

The first thing to strike you if you're arriving in Rabat by train, is the newly refurbished station. The lovely old building has been retained, but inside it's all black marble and chrome, and very smart indeed. Upstairs is a food court with a number of different outlets serving anything from paninis to tagines to pizzas. On the ground level is a Budget rental car agency, a post office, foreign exchange bureau, Venezia icecream parlour, coffee shop, and a newspapers and magazines outlet. Wifi is free everywhere, as in Fez. There are lifts and escalators to take you to each floor.

The greatest innovation that is changing the face of Rabat is the tramway, due for completion later this year.

With two lines, the tramway will link Sale to Rabat much more than just the road. It will be a boon for the local population, and will also open Sale up to more tourism as it will be more easily accessible. At present, petits taxis cannot take passengers from Rabat to Sale; only the grands taxis can ply that route.

Traffic congestion and parking problems will be eased, and of course a tram is much more ecologically sensitive than cars and buses. The fare is likely to be about Dh7 per trip. This is on a par with a short taxi ride around town, but slightly more expensive than a bus.

See all The View from Fez POSTCARDS HERE.

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