Casablanca and wonderful Hassan II. mosque

In Marrakech, we stopped a taxi near our riad, which took us to the train station for 20 Moroccan Dirhams. There we bought a train tickets to Casablanca (2nd class cost us 180 MAD for both, 1st class tickets were 50 MAD more expensive per person). The train was crowded and soon we recognized similarities between the ONFC (Railway Company that operates in Morocco) and Slovenian Railways. The train had half an hour delay, trains wait for each other and the appearance of those trains is not far behind ours 🙂

At the moment we stepped off the train, a friendly taxi driver offer us a drive to the hotel. We gladly accepted it, even though the price was a little high, but we really didn’t have energy to haggle. We were surprised, because outside the train station stood his tiny taxi – old at least as we are and it was literally falling apart. There wasn’t enough space for our bags, so he put them up on the roof. We just hoped that they will still be up there, when we get to the hotel.

Hotel Central was a big disappointment, there is no comparison between photos on the web and reality. Sad but true. Due to the late arrival, we decide that we’ll only see the famous Hassan II. mosque. This one is the third largest in the world and its 210-meter high minaret is the tallest building in the country. It lies on the coast and looking majestic out there. It was built in 1993 and there is place for 25 thousand believers. We found mosque beautiful and definitely the best and the biggest one we ever seen so far. It should be on your list, when you go in Morocco.

When we thought we already concluded with a visit of Casablanca, we meet a local tour guide, who offered us 2 and a half hour tour of the entire city with his mini-van. The guy was really friendly and we immediately got the feeling that we can trust him. We knew that, if we had accepted the offer, we wouldn’t see any other attraction here. This tour costed us € 20. The man first drove us up to the coastal area of Casablanca, which locals call – Miami Beach. Along the coast are dozens of more or less prestigious taverns and most of them have their own pools near the sea. We followed the path to the rich district, with huge villas. For those you must pay some millions, so there is no surprise that most owners of those are princes from Arab countries.

During the excursion through the city, Ahmed (tour guide) give us a lot of information about living of conservative and modern Muslims and the differences between the rich and poor population – there was so much data, that we forget half of it. But we remember that Ahmed comes from a conservative family, his wife face is covered, children also tend to the conservative methods of the Muslim way of life, which means that they are deeply focused on their faith and don’t want changes.

We stopped at the market of Mohammed V. – there was so many pigeons, that the place can easily compete with famous Venice. We walked past the magnificent Palais, and the old and the new medina. Throughout the whole ride, Ahmed offered us an all week trip. At the beginning we both understood that we would pay 200 euros per person, which would be a great deal for his package which including hotels, transport, excursions and some other stuff. However, in the end we were quite depressed when Ahmed drew up the exact travel itinerary and told us the real price, which we kindly refused. The amount was 1.200 euros. Too much, isn’t it?

S & B

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