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Published: April 15th 2009
Olive & everything pocket bread
My flight here was full of surprises to say the least.
My flight to Chicago was fine and I sat with a person from lancaster.
My flight to Rome was late and I missed my connection in Rome. So I was rerouted to Milan then on to Casablanca. A five hour delay but better than the 10 hour delay that they first suggested. A little whinning never hurt!!
My flight to Rome was interesting because the lady next to me was from Albania and she spoke a little English so within 2 sentences I learned that her 29 year old son had committed suicide and that she was heart broken. I tried to console her and for the next 2 hours she has gotten a photo album out of her son and we cried together and looked at his pictures ---What a way to start a vacation!!
But the flight to Milan was only 12 people and I could sit anywhere I wanted - except business class😞
I arrived in Casablanca and took the train to the main Station and then had to bargain for a taxi. I was told that you should get a taxi
Tres Bien!! Very Good!!
for 20 MAD they started out at 100 MAD. So with a large group a men vying for my money I had to shout out - WHOSE GOING TO TAKE ME FOR 20MAD. An old man volunteered then 3 others were fighting to take me. But the old man steered me to one of the orignal men who approached me and said he will take you. This man had a local women in the taxi and on the way to the hotel they yelled and screamed at each other the enitre time - I am guessing that they were married. I was so glad to get to the hotel!! Francine was there and met me on the stairway!! The adventure is on......................
Now it's Fran's turn. I had a good flight connecting only two hours in Abu Dhabi. Arrived got train direct to Casablanca & taxi to hotel. Did bargaining and got my price. Arrived hotel at 9am and waited for room to be made up. Met Dennis from Melbourne who used to work for Dept Agriculture and I used to work for NSW Fisheries, both at Narara. So we have mutual friends & acquaintences. Always a small world.
Made it to my room at 12.30 and had my first Moroccan lunch at a chicken fast food joint and slept until Angie arrived at 5pm.
The hotel is lovely quaint old place with lots of marble. The people of Casablanca are lovely. We had six of our group for dinner & we had a man playing an oud (guitar like with seven strings) and bongo drums.
Angie was invited to dance with one of the waiters. Of course she danced. The music is contagious. We learnt a few Moroccan songs and joined in on the fun. Targine for dinner was delicious. Off to bed and flaked.
DAY 1 OF TOUR
Up for the first of many breakfasts of bagets, butter & jam.
Off on the city tour of Casablanca. First stop Mohammed Hasan II Mosque. The third largest Mosque in the world (beside Mecca & Medina in Saudi Arabia). It has the tallest minaret in the world & finished in 1993. We then walked along the beach (Atlantic Ocean) many families relaxing & playing soccer. Toured the wealthy area & where the King lives. We saw the house where Roosevelt & Churchill held their meetings when
America first came into WWII. It is called the Casa Blanca house meaning White House. The Germans intercepted the messages & thought the meeting was being held in Washington White House.
Next it was off to the Souk (shops) for a small taste of what we were in for. Then it was lunch of pita bread with olive based salads, fish, mayo, ketchup, spicy, onions, red peppers, carrot and it was delicious.
We then strolled around the streets looking at all the art deco buildings, some have been restored others sadly not in good order. Still beautiful. We walked to the main square where families were relaxing & again playing soccer. Across the road is the old Royal Palace which is now used for State / polictial affairs. We ended up at the souk one end is very poor & as we moved towards the other end it became more affluent. Everything is sold here. The fruit & veg is very very fresh & lush.
We then met the rest of our group for our introductory meeting & headed off for our first dinner together. We had our first traditional Moroccan meal. Tajine, cooked in a pottery
dish with a lid & Coca Cola. & mint tea (Moroccan whiskey). Non alcholic as we are in a Muslim country. Bed
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