I overslept and woke up at 9.15 instead of 8.00 as I had planned by the Germans in the room getting ready . I showered, walked towards the train station and enjoyed the local delicacy of a Mcdonalds outside.
Mcdonalds in Marrakesh
The train was due to depart from Platform 5 and around the station I was shocked to see that people were walking over the tracks. It was a massive train but lots of people were travelling some jumped on while train moving to ensure they got an airconditioned compartment found empty one but quickly filled with other people still I had plenty of room was sitting next to a window and the air conditioning was working! Bonus!
The train departed Marrakesh at about 11:25am (25 minutes after it was supposed to depart) and arrived in Casablanca at approximately 3pm.
Taxi drivers outside were as in Marrakesh quite forceful in trying to get your custom but I shrugged them off and set off on my walk up to the hotel. I couldn't find my hotel after 30-40 minutes of looking in the area my map indicated and exasperated with my search I decided to start asking for directions a taxi driver pointed me in the right direction for 20 dirhams, however it was pretty useless information as I already believed it was in the area he pointed to. Eventually a man at a coffee shop called me over and asked what I was looking for, after a while of trying to find out whether I smoked hash or had anything illegal to sell he said he could show me to my hotel (Hotel Astrid) which he did. He then proceeded to wait 30 minutes in reception and in the end I thought it was fair to buy him a beer, after he had ordered 3 beers I decided enough was enough and told him much to his protestations that I was going to go on my own way as that was the way I liked to travel.
The walls of the Medina
I went back to the hotel and had a really welcome power shower. Leaving the hotel I headed into the market stalls of the Medina and walked towards the mosque that I knew was right next to the water along the coast. The walk eventually to an unlit slum area and trying to be as quick and as unnoticeable as possible I power walked into the light.
The Hassan 2 Mosque was an incredible with a real power and auroa about it. I could here the prayers from within and it really was a fantastic place to be. It is apparently the biggest mosque in the world and certainly it was one of the most impressive buildings I have ever come across.
Leaving the mosque I headed back towards the Medina and town and was grabbed by Abdul who preceded to lead me back to where I wanted to go despite me repeatedly telling him that I did not want a guide.
Shortly after me and Abdul had parted company I was grabbed by a stall owner in the Medina who pulled me into his clothes shop and started piling pairs of fake Diesel, Levi and Gstar jeans into my arms. Telling him that I didn't want any of the items he wanted to sell me he asked me what I did want and when I said "food" he pulled me along into a restaurant he apparently owned a short walk from his stall. The place felt dodgy from the moment I got there and I only stayed as I was very hungry. The food itself was even dodgier than the location and I firmly believe that the meat used in my "chicken tangine" was not chicken. Even though I only asked for the chicken, bread, fish, sauces, water and mint tea was put onto my table even though I was still incredibly shocked to be charged 450 dirhams (more than the total price of all my accommodation put together) for the pleasure of digesting the awful food that I was served. I told the restaurateur that the price was far too expensive and that I only had 240 dirhams in my wallet they therefore accepted that and I was off having spent all my planned budget for Casablanca in that one place.
Hassan 2 Mosque
Inside the Medina
As I left I was accosted for 2 or 3 minutes by two knee height little boys and despite me repeatedly telling them that I had no money as I had been robbed in a restaurant they kept hugging my left and saying "please sir", even me telling them to, "look over there, Mickey Mouse" didn't work.
I got back to the hotel and determined not be beaten took some money out of my bag and went into a bar across the street. It was occupied by mainly men but there was a few undesirable females in there too and behind where I was sitting some men were arguing loudly and drunkenly in Arabic. I finished my Moroccan beer and headed across the street to sleep in a hotel room of my own.