Casablanca

Trip Start Dec 27, 2013
1
5
9
Trip End Jan 07, 2014


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Thursday, January 2, 2014

We were only in Casablanca for approx 5 hours but in that time we were able to experience different aspects of this fascinating place.Leaving the port we arrived at  Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1993 the mosque is one of the largest and most beautiful in the world. It's gleaming newness and tremendous wealth is a stark contrast against the rest of Casablanca. The Mosque is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic. The minaret at 869 Feet is the tallest structure in Morocco and the tallest minaret in the world.Once inside the detail in the plaster, marble and wood carvings was quite breathtaking. The Mosque with its glass floor has room for up to 25,000 worshippers with room for a further 80,000 in the courtyard.Our guide explained the ritual of the prayers and we were also shown the cleansing areas before leaving the mosque where the clear blue sky gave a fantastic backdrop to this beautiful place of worship.A short drive along the coastline we saw where the affluent population of Casablanca dine in the cafes and restaurants along the tree lined boulevard.
It was nice to stroll along the waters edge watching the waves crashing onto the shore.
A stop at a famous square, saw the old post office and courthouse and 3 brightly clad men ringing bells, unsure of the meaning I asked the guide who told me it was an old custom toting the bells to alert the local people where they could receive a drink of water. These are now more a tourist attraction I think as they were hoping for some coins to pass by their palms for a photo.
 We then visited a Catholic Church built by the French - The Notre Dame de Lourdes completed in the early 50's has 800 metres of stained glass windows, quite a contrast from the mosque we visited earlier but still an impressive sight.A ride around the affluent resident areas with gated property and a visit to a Berber Pharmacy to learn about herbal medicines before The last place to visit (for some passengers it seemed to be the highlight of the day !) was the famous Rick's Cafe the mythical saloon from the 1942 film Casablanca which has been recreated in an old courtyard style mansion built against the walls of the Old Medina.We enjoyed drinks and canapés in this very atmospheric cafe/bar with a showing of the film in the background. It wasn't too long before we had to wend our way out of the joint and back on board.A sail-a-way party in full swing as we left Casablanca for our next destination Agadir.
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Comments

Karen on

I love your photos, beautiful architecture and tile designs. Thank you for sharing these delights along with the blue skies and sea.
Looking forward to Agadir!
Karen x

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