The “medina,” which directly translates to “old city, ” is unmistakably identifiable by its tall, rust coloured castle walls. The Rabat medina is home to the city’s local market. Kelly and I live a short 2 minute walk away from one of the main entrances to the medina. Following another full day of Arabic lessons and afternoon lectures at AmidEast, we decided to capitalize on our leftover energy by exploring the medina before dinner. As soon as we passed under the medina’s impressive archway, we were met with a myriad of smells and cacophonous noise. Shop after shop, stall after stall, the medina overwhelms the senses with different foods, artisanal crafts, clothing shops and much more. It seemed as though the first 15 minutes of my journey through the crowded alleyways of the medina, I was in a bit of an awed trance, my eyes flitting from one unfamiliar product to another. I felt like I was being drawn in multiple directions at once, whether it be towards a wall full of brightly coloured hand made leather slippers, or to a stall selling to tubs of freshly marinated olives.
As I began to adapt to the loud haggling of the shopkeepers and found my footing to be able to navigate through the crowds, I began to relax and switched into shopping mode. Kelly and I both found some special items to bring back to Canada, but if traveling has taught me anything, it’s that the new experiences that push you outside of your comfort zone are the greatest gift to bring home. That being said, I’m also pretty happy with my my new pair of Berber earrings. 😉