Casablanca Travel Blog› entry 17 of 18 › view all entries
This experience deserves a blog date all of its own!
I was leaving tomorrow afternoon so wanted to make my last full day in Casablanca a memorable one.
Got up late and toddled down to a nice breakfast in the hotel...toddled on down the road and purchased bottled water, used an internet for a bit and toddled back to hotel for an afternoon sleep...no nothing special yet... Spent some time looking out my window and spotted a man walking through the cafes carrying and selling IRONING BOARDS.!?!
After my nap I decided I would take the plunge and try out the famous (infamous) Moroccan Hamman....
Asked the girl on the front desk and she recommended "Hamman Zaini" after I asked for a nice Hamman where they may speak English and welcome foreign women. This is also one of the Hammans the Lonely Planet Guide recommends so thought it would be safe enough for a single female to go to. It was about half an hour away by taxi. The taxi dropped me off at the end of the street and gestured down it so I walked along expecting to see a huge big sign or entrance...NOT... but found it easily enuf.
Greeted by a man at little desk in attractive small foyer area. Paid over the money for a wash and massage after some sign language and reading the "menu" which was in English as well as Arabic. He gave me a reciept to take upstairs to the Ladies area of the Hamman.....up 2 or was it 3...flights of clean stairs. Greeted by a lady at another little desk. Paid for "soap"and mitt , given a little wire basket with rubber thong thingys and a plastic bag, shown into a little curtained off cubicle where I was to strip off and put on this nylony cotton wrap thingy. I kept my knickers on after asking (sign language again) exactly what articles of clothing I should keep on or off. Clothes and sandals were taken and placed in a locker behind the desk and I was given the key...which i put in the plastic bag with my mitt and "soap" in the wire basket.I put inverted commas round the "soap " as it was traditional Hamman "soap" of gross, slimy darkish appearance.....it was the stuff we kept seeing in the souks that looked like huge globs of lard....maybe that IS what it is ?!?
So there I was standing in this tiny little wrap thingy that barely covered my Boobs and Bum (surely there are large size women in Morocco?)grasping my wire basket, not knowing what to do next and the nice lady gestured me towards a doorway to an area where 5 or 6 Local ladies where sitting chatting...they were wearing little blue wraps and looked wet.. Realised these were the staff after a nice young girl grabbed me by the hand and guided me through a door into the steam filled chambers of the actual Hamman. It was steamy and warm , nice and clean, with lots of marble, including the tiled vaulted ceiling. She was a lovely friendly girl with (very) limited English and I was so glad to have her as I had heard stories of gorgonesque women running these hammans!!!! This is the next steps of my Hamman experience as copied from my diary written later that day.
1. remove wrap and hang it on a hook along with the towel I had brought with me from the hotel.
2. Walk through the massage rooms into a Sauna room. I was trying to check out other people there but it was very steamy so they were just ghostly figures standing an, sitting and lying on benches.
3. sit on marble stool in front of low basin...one of many built into the walls.
4. given a good wash down with buckets of water and the "soap".
5. sit on curved mable step seating in the sauna for 5-10 minutes.
6. taken by hand and led to marble table in next steamy room and gestured to lie down.
7. Scrubbed by another staff lady with my mitt over EVERY inch of my body. Apparently she was doing it quite softly but it sure felt GREAT... Scrubbed back, sides and FRONT. Shown all the dirty skin that sloughs off during this process...UGH!
8. washed down with bowlfuls of warm water.
9. Sat on another marble stool facing the wall and basins till the massuese came for me. I had time to look around a bit more here and it was lovely to see women and their daughters here sharing the experience. I was the only westerner...but it didn't matter at all. All the ladies were smiling, chatting and laughing.
10. Into another room through a huge marble archway and onto another marble table covered with a nylon sheet.
11. Oils used to massage me from head to toes, back and FRONT again.....wonderful, really relaxing! Got a GREAT head massage and some interesting finger,arm and leg pulling!!!!
12. washed down again with bowls of warm water. wrapped up in a towel.
13. Taken outside the steam rooms , collected clothes and into another room with daybeds and change cubicles. I then dried off and got dressed.
And that was the Hamman experience. All this luxery cost just under 200 Moroccan Dirhams (28 Aus Dollars) ....and I got to keep my mitt!!!!!!
Unfortunately when I left the Hamman I had trouble finding a free taxi as it ws now peak hour about 6p.m. and getting quite dark. I ended up going into a small supermarket and having a browse picking up some biccies and sweets....then tackled the streets again. Finally got a share taxi and after dropping off the other fellow the driver happily took me back to hotel Ajiad. where I relaxed...feeling beautifully cleansed and pumelled over nearly every inch and crevasse of my body !.
But my memorable day continues as I got myself tizzied up complete with makeup and best outfit and walked to the Sheraton Hotel where i enjoyed a dinner show in there "authentic" Moroccan restaurant. Wonderful Moroccan musicians, belly dancers and singer. Excellent cultural way to finish my trip. Here is the funniest thing... Also at the dinner show was a group of belly dancers from Denmark!!!! They had done a concert in Marrakech and were on their way home. It was great because they got up and danced...and so did I !?! I would recommend this show to anyone looking for something to do in Casablanca. It cost 185 Dirham...about $30 Aus Dollars after tipping. I asked the Sheraton doorman to walk me back to my hotel as it was after 11p.m. and he was happy to oblige.........
So ended my last night in Maroc.