I was waiting in Rabat.
That is to say we; Linh and I, were waiting.
We had stepped off a succession of flights leading from Perth, and now had time on our hands.
At some stage later, the parents would join us, but for now it was us and Rabat (See the itinerary for the adventure here). Before long We had left the tarmac behind and found ourselves before the formidable walls of the medina. This was a moment long searched for. I had spent many years picturing this moment. There was such a romance to the idea of wandering through the ancient walls and markets of a Moroccan city. At that moment, it lacked the awe and majesty that one can build up in a dream, but from here – looking back – this was the first of a line of life-defining moments that may have lasted only two weeks, but such that they will live in a place in the back of my mind for many years: until old age wipes them away.
We found our place to stay after wandering through the narrow alleys and hoped that our feet would find their way back in time to sleep, but for now there was walking to do. We turned our faces outwards and made for the citadel overlooking the harbor where the North Atlantic lapped at fishing boats and the distant sound of waves crashing on the sand wafted over the humid afternoon. You could almost hear the gurgle of water passing through the narrow straight that separates the African continent from the Rock of Gibraltar and all of the Europe that sits above it.
As we walked the colour blue filled our senses. The blue of the sky, of the sea, and of the brightly painted alleyways and doorways. As we wandered the day away, our feet found the sand of the beach and as the sun began to sink, we dipped our toes in the waters of an ocean about as far away from the warm Indian Ocean currents that we left behind in Western Australia.
Afternoon moved on and dusk filled the air as we strolled along the dock towards our riad, the sun’s final rays softened the stone of the city walls and by the time we returned to the labyrinthine streets of the medina night had fallen. We found the door which held our beds and sunk into a dream that was the gateway to Morocco…