Five hours in Casablanca

Casablanca Travel Blog

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Olives
I wasn't supposed to visit Casablanca, it was only a transfer at the airport from Barcelona to Marrakech, but the flight was delayed by eight hours! So....
Instead of waiting for eight hours at the airport we left to see what we could of the city of Casablanca. We didn't have to worry about our checked bags because they were being held at the airport, and all I was carrying as hand lugage was my purse, once outside the airport there were a bunch of taxis waiting to take travelers to the city. As we approached one driver ushered us into his car and we asked him to take us to the Medina of Casablanca. As we drove down the hallway I was surprised by the number of people walking, biking, motorbiking, and on donkeys going down the highway.
Mosque & me!
Then the taxi driver asked us if we would like him to give us a tour of Casablanca and then bring us back to the airport.
First he brought us to see a palace, but we got lost and just saw the bazaar. it was amazing to see the Islamic doorways and art for the first time, and the first mosque seen on our journey had a gigantic minaret. The bazaar had many items, but most notable was the large olive market where barrels and barrels of olives were in the same place. They all looked so delicious! I also saw a peculiar bird with only one eye in the middle of the olive market.
We headed out past a big square full of kids playing and trees and fountains, back to the taxi. He said we were on the way to the mosque of Hassan II but my father insisted that we visit the Medina, I had pointed out that I wanted to visit it and having been so many times in Barcelona it seemed natural to me that there would be many visitors there.
It is the old part of the city where the streets are a sort of maze, somewhat like the Gothic City of Barcelona, but surprisingly we found ourselves to be the only Europeans in the entire Medina!
It was so nice to see how the Marocan people live, there were many cats everywhere and street vendors lining the tiny streets with carts of fruit and fish and bread. We bought some peaches and some bread, we walked first past the food part of the medina and then down the place with clothes. As it got dark we tried to find our way out but we were completely lost in the maze of streets! Luckily we found a guy who spoke Spanish and he brought us back to the entrance we had come in by. The taxi driver was waiting there and I guess he was getting a little nervous since we had not paid him anything yet and we were in the Medina for an entire hour! This is a place where I think more people should go, especially if you are stying within the cities of Morocco, everyone there was surprised that we were there and told us to go to the famous mosque of Hassan II, but it was a beautiful experience to see the houses and lives of citizens of Casablanca.
By the Atlantic

The taxi driver took us to the mosque just as it was getting really dark, so we saw it while illuminated. Unfortunately we had gotten there just as they were closing, so we were not allowed inside. The great area in front of the mosque is so big! 80.000 people can fit in the space and it took a good amount of time just to walk from the taxi to the mosque. There were many children playing and mothers looking after them all over the place. At one point I was posing for a picture in front of a gate and a crazy guy came up to me and started laughing and saying something in Arabic, but I naturally, didn't understand. Weird. i stood by the side of the mosque where the sea meets the city for a while but as it got cold we decided to head back to the taxi.
detail from Mosque of Hassan II

The last stop in Casablanca was to the beach. It seemed like a nice place with very fine sand. but it was very dark and the wind from the Atlantic was getting really cold. we sat on the beach and ate the peaches and pears which were delicious! and when it was time to go back to the airport we climbed back up to the taxi which took us back. I fell asleep right away even though the road was not too smooth and the car had a loud humming all the time. I was so tired! At the airport we discovered that Royal Air Maroc had delayed our flight once again, but only for an hour so we went up to the gate and ate the bread we got in the Medina.
Royal Air Maroc delayed all three of the flights I took in the trip, the one from Barcelona - Casablanca, Casablanca - Marrakech, and Marrakech - Barcelona.
mosque of Hassan II
If you are a person who likes to do things on time, don't book this airline.
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Olives
Olives
Mosque & me!
Mosque & me!
By the Atlantic
By the Atlantic
detail from Mosque of Hassan II
detail from Mosque of Hassan II
mosque of Hassan II
mosque of Hassan II
Medina
Medina
White houses
White houses
bazaar
bazaar
Mosque of Hassan II
Mosque of Hassan II
Casablanca
photo by: nathanphil