Our Overseas Adventure Travel trip (OAT) started and ended in Casablanca. I’ll admit it, that old Humphrey Bogart movie was my introduction to Morocco. Truth be told, though, the city wasn’t quite what I expected. Of all the places we visited, Casablanca was my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong. It is a perfectly fine city. It’s just that, like many large financial centers, it is crowded, and multiple areas have been torn up because of new construction.
Anyone who only visits Casablanca and thinks they have experienced Morocco is oh, so wrong. Morocco offers much, much more. For my other Morocco posts, I had a difficult time deciding which photos to post and which experiences to highlight. Casablanca presented no such challenge.
Casablanca’s main attraction is the very beautiful Hassan II Mosque, located on the edge of the Mediterranean.
It truly is a magnificent structure, displaying the usual attention to detail found in other Muslim/Arab structures, like the Alhambra.
It is easy to forget that a very modern city surrounds the mosque, but all you have to do is turn your back on the Mediterranean to see less inspiring, more utilitarian structures.
As is the case with synagogues, mosques have separate areas for women worshippers. Both Jewish and Moslem women pray from the balconies. I can’t help but wonder if it is because women deserve to be closer to heaven?
I absolutely loved strolling along the beaches of the Mediterranean, and wished we’d had more time to do just that.
I would imagine during normal times, there are many wonderful restaurants in this area, but Covid definitely narrowed our choices. For our last night we were on our own for dinner, so three of us discovered Urbano, a lovely Italian restaurant where we had the entire restaurant to ourselves.
The return trip to our hotel was indeed an adventure. Before departing, I remembered to grab a business card from the front desk. Good thinking, right? Well, the business card had the NAME of the hotel, but NOT the address, and to our dismay, we discovered there are TWO Radisson Blu hotels in Casablanca. Although Joanne was able to converse in French with our taxi driver, that still wasn’t enough. We needed to call our “lifeline”, Mostafa, who we affectionately dubbed “Dad”. With Dad’s guidance, we made it back early enough to finish packing and have a drink at the bar on the hotel’s top floor.
Tip for future OAT travelers: be sure you have your guide’s cell phone number when you venture out on your own.
This is the last of my Moroccan memories. For those of you who would like to learn more about this intriguing country, I invite you to take a look at this YouTube video, which “Dad” played for us during a bus ride.