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.
5 thoughts on “Travel in the Time of Covid Part III – Casablanca”
Thanks for sharing Shelley. I agree about Casablanca and about the rest of Morocco. A wonderful country!
Looking forward to your next blog!
Hi Nancy, Mike and I have had our travel wings clipped. Mike will be starting chemotherapy in a couple of weeks—has to have a couple more tests done before they start. Since our time together in Iceland, he’s had his prostate removed, had radiation treatment, had a lobe removed from his lung and is on antibiotics for a lung infection. Poor guy hasn’t had a break. So, we won’t be going to San Francisco in April, and Oat just canceled our Japan trip. That makes it easy for me, because I was going to cancel it anyway. How are YOU doing?
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Good thing you grabbed the business card
Those are two great travel hacks (having the business card – with address – of the hotel and having a main contact’s info on my phone) that I’ve learned the hard way. Regarding your comment about judging Morocco by a visit to Casablanca: I always cringe when I hear someone say that they liked/didn’t like the US after a brief visit to New York, or L.A. All countries are so much more than their main cities.
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Thanks Janis. This was the first time we had to use the business card trick. I was glad that I had purchased Verizon’s Travel pass so the phone call didn’t break the bank. We were also trying to use Google maps, so I was accessing the internet too.
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