Here's Looking at No Luggage, Kid

Casablanca Travel Blog

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The Riad Restaurant where we ate our first night in Morocco. Lamb with prunes tagine...YUM.

The flight to Casablanca was long and required 2 layovers: one in Washington DC and one in Geneva. Luckily I had friends in both places, and was able to meet for drinks in both places. Unfortunately, when I arrived in Morocco, my backpack decided to stay in Geneva, and my transport company that was my airport transfer decided not to wait while I filled out the lost bag forms.  I called the transport company (thank God my iPhone works here) and they arrived to drive me an hour into Casablanca city.

The hotel is charming, with a completely remodeled lobby in traditional Moroccan style...tiled fountain and everything.  I met the rest if the Intrepid group at the meeting and our tour leader, Redouane, a Berber guy in his early 20's, brought us to a gorgeous restaurant, Le Riad, down the street.

The Hassan II Mosque. Moroccan minarets are square, unlike the rest of the Muslim world. This is the 2nd tallest one in the world.
I had harira (a bean soup) and a tagine with lamb and prunes (delicious) and oranges laced with cinnamon and sugar for dessert.  Jet lag set in just about when the dessert arrived, and I was nodding off into my tea.  Redouane called the airline for me, and I found out I had to pay the transport company $65 roundtrip to take me back to the airport to get my bag (Royal Air Maroc doesn't deliver found bags to your hotel), so I couldn't join some of the other group members who were going to Rick's American Café (modeled after the one in the movie Casablanca).  Grrr.  

Luckily, my bag was just coming around on the carousel when I arrived, and customs didn't give me any trouble.  I fell asleep in the van on the hour ride to the airport, and on the way back too.

Exterior of Hassan II Mosque
 Zzzzzzz.  I knocked on Redouane's door to tell him I got my bag, and then knocked out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

At breakfast in the morning, the folks on the tour who went to Rick's American Cafe said it was a great spot to get drinks, and had a great jazz band playing.  I'll see if I can catch it when I return to Casablanca at the end of the trip.

We got up early, bought some pastries at a patisserie, and took off in a van to take a look at the Hassan II Mosque, which was pretty impressive.  It's built partly over the ocean, and has the 2nd tallest minaret in the world.  It's one of two mosques in the entire country which allows non-Muslims to enter.  We toured the entire massive, and luxuriously decorated place (the huge chandeliers are from the island of Murano, off of Venice, Italy) - including the rooms at the bottom with the lotus-shaped pools to perform ablutions and the hammam (spa).  Absolutely gorgeous.

 

nyprne says:
Delayed baggage is such a pain but at least it was not several days before you were able to obtain the bag again.

This is an exciting trip and I am glad it has been featured. Congratulations!
Posted on: Apr 27, 2011
wagslikeadog says:
RAM lost my luggage in Casa in 2010 too. Go figure...Not the most organized bunch...
Posted on: Apr 21, 2011
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The Riad Restaurant where we ate o…
The Riad Restaurant where we ate …
The Hassan II Mosque.  Moroccan mi…
The Hassan II Mosque. Moroccan m…
Exterior of Hassan II Mosque
Exterior of Hassan II Mosque
Interior of the Hassan II Mosque -…
Interior of the Hassan II Mosque …
The middle strip is where the king…
The middle strip is where the kin…
The lower floor of the mosque - yo…
The lower floor of the mosque - y…
Casablanca
photo by: nathanphil