Well, as I am interested in both old and some modern architecture, I always put attention to some pretty and/or unique architectural details. Sale is a great place to do it in peace and quiet. Look for example at this Arabic inscription put on a wall of the Grand Mosque minaret. Large part of the world including Europe and America use Latin...more
There is a Muslim cemetery for both Rabat and Sale in northern and northwestern part of Sale. It was the first Muslim cemetery I ever visited. The graves of human body size are similar in shape and each contain quite long writings in Arabic language. I found a bit strange location of the cemetery: first inside (mostly) city walls, second just by...more
There is a white courtyard of the Grand Mosque which I entered passing through the open entrance gate from main street (Rue de la Grand Mosque). There are 1-story arcades around with closed decorative doors and first of all there is large square basis of the mosque minaret in the middle of the square.more
I couldn't find the entrance to the Grand Mosque at first. It's hidden among white houses of the medina. And first of all, I, being a non-muslim, was not allowed to enter the Grand Mosque built by Almohad dynasty which started to rule over Rabat and Sale in 12th century. So, I could only see:- a courtyard of the mosque with a typical, square...more
There is a beautiful wall fountain located just by the entrance to the Grand Mosque. It's roofed by typically dark green (reserved for royality now) tiles. The fountain was used by muslims to wash hands, face and feet before entering the mosque in the past. Now, it's a pretty decorative detail.more
Medersa is an old coranic school, a kind (the only) of university in muslim countries in the past. The medersa of Sale was the first I visited in Morocco. It was founded in 1333 (by Abou l'Hassan from Merinide dynasty) and does not operate now. The local guard and guide wanted a small fee (1$ or less per 2) for entrance which I paid at once. When I...more
I saw only three or four of over ten city gates of Sale. The most impressive and the largest is called Bab Bou Haja ("Bab" means a gate in Arabic). The gate has well preserved Arabic ornamental elements on both sides.It is the main entrance to the city and the best starting point for a walk around Sale. There is a square called Bab Khebaz opposite...more
Sale welcomed me with huge and long city walls, built by Merinides dynasty ruling over Rabat and Sale in 13th century. The walls survived and they surround the whole medina which is quite unique nowadays. They are very well maintained, better than in its neighbour - Rabat. I wanted to walk on the walls but... it's impossible.I paid attention to...more
Vilarmar, for "Village des Arts Marocains" (Moroccan articraft Village) is a kind of “must see” in Rabat though it is in Salé ! Confusing, isn’t it ? As I said, Salé is the twin town of Rabat and Vilarmar, which is outside Salé is actually on the outskirts of Rabat. It is not more than half a dozen kilometers and easily reached by taxi by those...more
There is no other possibility to visit Sale than on foot. Streets inside medina are mostly too narrow for any car and even, they are either closed for traffic or there is no place to park a car there. I followed tourist itinerary marked on a Sale map in my French Michelin Maroc Guide de Tourisme. I started from Bab (Gate) Bou Haja and Bab Khebaz...more
BY CARI arrived to Sale by own car. I drove along the Moroccan Atlantic coast from Tangier (277 km north of Sale) to Agadir and futher down to Western Sahara. Highway P2 from Larache (216 km) through Kenitra (40 km) to Sale and Rabat was of good quality and not jammed, mostly empty and fast to drive. PARKINGI was following quite good although small...more
When you come from Rabat, drive across the Bou Regreg oued and take the road to Meknès, you will first pass the Dawliz complex (hotel, cinema), a children attraction park and a big one level building. It is the articraft center El-Oulja. On the building, you will read ''Vilarmar'' for ''village des arts marocains'' (village of moroccan arts). You...more
The brass trays are especially wonderful. We brought this one home. What I wrote about the thickness of the metal is especially important for the trays. Most of what you find in the souk for tourists is very thin and will twist easily. If you want to hang it on your wall, this is OK. If you want to use it, for example to bring drinks, you must...more
Walking off the beaten path along narrow streets of the medina I've found some signs of conservative, muslim lifestyle in Sale which was interesting. Just a few observations:- I was dressed in a T-shirt with no sleeves and shorts above knee, Urszula had long dress but nude shoulders - some locals (guys) looked at my nude legs and sandals with some...more
I remember Sale as a white city surronded by city walls with no visitors, few cars, very few local people walking around and surprisingly, in Morocco, quite many locals riding a bicycle, both inside the medina (too narrow streets for cars there) and outside. There were only a few cars driving main avenue in the morning rush hours. What a pretty...more
1. There were no tourists in Sale when I visited it in September. You may feel somewhat uncomfortable especially if you didn't touch muslim culture before. I mean somewhat called a culture shock. So, I rather do not recommend to visit Sale at the early beginning of your Moroccan adventures (Rabat is better in that matter, Casablanca or Agadir the best). Just in case, I think that Sale offers more personal safety (I mean possible thefts and pickpocketing) for a visitor (at daytime) than larger Maroccan cities including Rabat.
2. Sale, although located next to Maroccan capital city of Rabat is off the beaten path destination. Do not expect any great eating there, not to mention any nightlife. It's strange, I didn't see any local restaurant there. Instead I saw a mentha tea served in some suques (local shops).
3. It's easy to get lost in the medina. There is no exact map. But it's easy to find out the right way, too. Look up at the top of the minaret of the Grand Mosque or walk in one direction till you reach the city walls.
4. It's difficult, at first, to find entrance to the Grand Mosque. It's hidden among white houses of the medina. There are no signs. Look at my picture, please and keep in mind how the typical entrance/portal to a mosque looks like: pay attention to a few steps on the ground, Arabic key-hole shape and decorations and dark green roof above.
5. When you find the entrance... do not enter unless you are a muslim. Non-muslims are not allowed to visit any mosque in Morocco, with one exception: tours to Hassan II mosque in Casablanca. Just in case: usually there is "a mosque guard" at the entrance or somewhere close inside.
We, Urszula (my wife = matcrazy0) and I, had the first really hot and sunny day in Morocco just in Sale. I surely brought a few bottles of good sun blockers from Poland to Morocco. But we were so excited about a new place that we forgot to use it when we were leaving our car and we didn't pack the sun block to our city back pack. After 1-2 hours walk, mostly on sun we started to look for a shadow. And the next day Urszula's shoulders were not only red but painful :-(.
Unique Suggestions: Especially if you are white like a flour, listen to me Brits, Scandinavians and other whites, you must use sun block BEFORE you leave your car/bus/plane in Morocco. Even one or two hours on the summer sun can kill you!
Fun Alternatives: Do not travel to Morocco May - October, keep in a shadow, wear a cap and... local jellabia or go to, say, Iceland, Alaska (my dreams) or Scandinavia (pure beauty) - option rather for rich travelers haha.
Photo Equipment: I had an old and "primitive" Kodak camera (full automatic) with a built-in flash. To take pictures of some architecture, like huge city gates (on my picture) or entrances to some houses along narrow streets of the medina I needed a wide zoom camera (28 mm or less instead of my 38 mm).
Sale is a great place for a bit (yes, a bit, it's not a heart of the Amazon jungle!) adventurous visitors who want to discover many small, hidden and very local corners far from crowds of, say, Rabat, Fes, Meknes or Casablanca. Do walk off the beaten paths and get lost to see... just a few examples:
- suques - local shops selling wool at one area, baskets, jewelry (silver) and clothes at others, some streets full of suques are covered, roofed by hand-made bamboo roof to protect locals against sun;
- local smaller and larger doors, gates, decorative entrances, portals etc. Just one example, a portal roofed with green tiles on my picture;
- many small architectural details, chaotic roofs, yards, tarraces, narrow streets and passages etc.;
- locals themselves, somewhat sad, poor, dressed in traditional jellabias but very friendly. Twice they helped me to find out right way and... a Maroccan surprise: they did not want any money from me! I met a group of local women washing clothes on a street, local guys praying silently in yards etc.
My favourite thing about Sale was getting lost among narrow streets of the medina and looking at locals and local life there.
Fondest memory: My foundest memory was a visit to large Muslim cemetery, nothing spectacular but it was the first one I ever saw.