The overlooked – Casablanca, Morocco

I anchored my one week of Moroccan travel in early December 2017 from Casablanca, the largest city of 3.5 million people.  Also known from the 1942 film Casablanca (but filmed in Hollywood) staring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (with the famous line, “Play it, Sam!”), this Atlantic coast city is often overlooked in favour of larger tourism draws such as Marrakech, Fes, Essaouira and Tangier.  I met up with an Ottawa friend of mine, Normand, who was working during the first part of my stay (and hitched a ride with him for a day’s trip to Rabat) but we were able to travel together later in the week for a day trip to Marrakech before returning to Ottawa.

On my first day of exploring Casablanca I happened by a fish market just a few blocks from the hotel.

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Morocco 1_7 Dec 2017-251Turtle soup anyone?Morocco 1_7 Dec 2017-233I was greeted by a friendly merchant inside the market and he convinced me to eat lunch at his outdoor patio table adjacent to his food stall.   It was a delicious seafood meal comprised of many types of fish with shrimp and a tasty side dish.  I must admit that my French was not up to par and some drama unfolded when he tried to charge me an outrageous price for lunch.  I persevered and we struck a compromise before I left to wander on foot for other sites in Casablanca.

Morocco 1_7 Dec 2017-234I passed by Mohammed V Boulevard and captured a tram passing by.  The Casablanca Tramway consists of one 31 kilometre Y-shaped line with 48 stops.

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I came across this justice building, a courthouse, I believe.Morocco 1_7 Dec 2017-275I passed by a number of cafes along the way.   A favourite past time is sitting out on patios, mostly men, sipping mint tea saturated with sugar.  iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-7

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iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-9And I too had my sip of tea along the way, with free WiFi.iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-1Hmmmm, doesn’t this look familiar even in another languageiPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-10

And yet another place to buy leather productsiPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-6I think it was a holiday, families out in a community square.Morocco 1_7 Dec 2017-278

The street food vendors come out after dark, tasty food.iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-13 iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-14

On another day, I walked along the coast and returned to capture the Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-21My friend Norman and I ate breakfast at a local cafe, for a cheap $2 omelette. 
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Looks like lunch cooking away.iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-17My friend Normand and I took a tram to a Casablanca beach, Ain Diab, and walked 16 km back to the hotel.  We came across a popular island rock outcropping  where there’s a tomb of Marabout Sidi Abderrahman who was reputed to possess powers to cure people afflicted by nervous disorders and evil spells.iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-76

Sunset from this rock outcropping (not the best image quality, taken with my iPhone 7).  I didn’t have my big beast of a camera for the 16km walk about.iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-78

My friend Normand and I went out for Chinese food dinner.  Something got lost in the translation :-)

iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-22One Canadian dollar is about 7 Moroccan Dirhams (DH)

iPhone_Morocco_Dec 2017-23Near the end of the week we left Casablanca for a day trip to Marrakech.  You can view the earlier blog entries from Rabat that occurred on the day I arrived in Casablanca:

Kasbah of the Udaya, Rabat, Morocco

Visiting a souk and mausoleum in Rabat, Morocco

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