Blogs from Grand Casablanca, Morocco, Africa - page 10


Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca October 12th 2007

It is strange to be in this country just to be. I know that I have left the US. And I know that I am here with my sister. But where is here and how long will I be there? I arrived in Casablanca under cover of night last night. It is strange to fly into a new place at night, because the lights give you very little sense of the dimensions and textures and setting of a place. (In this case, however, even a daytime approach wouldn’t have helped me much, as I woke up only when the front wheels of our plane hit the runway and I was too groggy even then to process what it meant to finally land in Morocco after months of talking about it). MC met me at the airport. ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca September 9th 2007

From the air, Casablanca looks a lot like Sacramento: the surrounding region of lines, angles and intersections making up a patchwork farm area resembles the same quilt-like agricultural area that encompasses. I came at the best time of day: dusk, when you can stare right at the sun as it sets in the dusty Saharan sky. The first part of our drive, through farmland and occassional suburban sprawl, was quiet besides my driver's honking which would begin immediately as the light turned green, whether or not the cars in front of us had started moving. Once we reached the city, itself anything but tranquil, I realized that Sacramento and Casablanca have little beyond farming in common. Where Sacramento is sleepy and contained, Casablanca is vivacious and delightfully chaotic. It seemed as if the entire 7 million ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca August 20th 2007

I spent the next week traveling north to Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, and Meknes. True to its name, Casablanca is full of white buildings and houses. The only thing really worth seeing (according to the guide books) is the Hassan II mosque. It’s the third largest mosque in the world. It was funded by the Muslims of Morocco, designed by a French architect, and built by 35,000 pairs of hands over 7 years. It was completed in 1993. Casa (as the locals call it) is on the Atlantic coast and the cool ocean breezes are a refreshing change from the heat of Marrakesh. There’s a touristy area near the beach in Casa called Corniche full of restaurants, hotels, cafes, and beautiful beaches. Seafood is fresh and safe to eat here. Throughout Morocco, meat and seafood are not ... read more
Alleyways of the souks
Kasbah des Oudayas
Charif feeding the monkeys

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca August 11th 2007

(Kees) Our arrival the African continent was surprisingly problem free. Riding bikes off the ferry was smooth. We had our pp's stamped in the boat (at the back??- who knows why, maybe part of King Mohammad VI's liberal reform package), and by- passed all the security, a whole lot of cars, then rode through the gates and into the chaos and mess of Tangier; so no worries. Our expectations of conservative and dry Morocco and the major hustle of bustle of Tangier, with hasslers left right and centre, didn't actually turn out that way. The city was a bit of a mess but it was vibrant enough with plenty going on. The traffic noise of cars and trucks getting of the ferry and into the chaos was pretty intense though. Toot Toot Honk Honk .......... pretty ... read more
enter the Madina
main square

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca August 5th 2007

Hi all, Unfortunately, travelblog had some server problems and some of my blog entries were lost :( They are working to fix the problem so hopefully I will not have to reload everything. I am in Morocco now after 3 days in the airport! My flight out of Uruguay was delayed so I missed all my connecting flights and had to wait for 1 day in Buenos Aires and 2 days in Madrid! But I am finally here. I will upload details and pictures soon. Love, J... read more

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca July 1st 2007

Arriving in Casablanca 3 hours late and arriving at 1am didn't give me a lot of time to experience the city. After waking my roommate for the trip, I slept well and woke up the next morning to introduce myself. Her name is Sarah and she is from Sydney. I am travelling with a company called Intrepid who do adventure travel. Our group is 12 people and I am the only American (thank shiva) all Aussie and English, and finally our tour leader, Margeaux, who is French. The first few days were a whirlwind, traveling by train to Rabat (the capital), and Meknes, famous for its handcrafts. As the group was getting to know each other a bit more on the train journeys, I revealed my profession, and suddenly everyone had aches and pains, where there ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca June 14th 2007

Our second day in Casablanca began much the same way the first day ended - lackluster. Having envisioned an exotic port of call in advance of our arrival, Gina and I found the dated, sprawling metropolis to be a better poster child for needed gentrification than a tourist destination. A thorough scouring of the Lonely Planet yielded only a handful of possibly interesting sites that we figured could be covered in a couple of hours. As a result, we decided to spend the balance of our day at the beach, taking advantage of the summer heat. Leaving the hotel after a lackadaisical morning, we retraced our steps from the previous evening hoping to catch the modern African art gallery during its open hours. We inched our way through Casablanca’s bumper-to-bumper traffic on foot, keen to make ... read more
Keeping Cool
Sacre Ceour Cathedral
Around the Side...

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca June 13th 2007

Newton’s First Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Unfortunately, Gene and I would learn this the hard way - we were bound to make a return trip on the same crammed, six- seater train car to Casablanca. While Gene and I thought ourselves lucky to be assigned the two window seats next to the air conditioning vent, we quickly determined otherwise as Gene sat elbow to elbow with another pretentious French bitch. Rising to use the washroom, Gene had to hopscotch over the interlocked legs of the other passengers to proceed to the connecting hallway. Before he could even get as far as the doorway, I thought the woman’s eyes would roll into the back of her head. She was, no doubt, twice as thrilled when Gene made his way back ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca May 30th 2007

I am writing this blog after we got home but I will add to it as I get time. I arranged a trip to Morocco as a present for my husband, Phil, for his 40th birthday. He and his family left Casablanca when he was 7 years old to immigrate to Canada and he never returned so I figured it would be a great way o celebrate the big 4-0!!! We arrived in Casa and passed through customs no problem, then on to Hotel Diwan which was a little pricey, but nice (it had a bidet!). Casablanca was the only place we stayed at an "expensive" hotel; all the rest were in Rough Guides "moderate" range. Casablanca is a weird mix of old and new. Mercedes and donkey carts, head scarves and Armani suits. It ... read more
Hassan II--the main hall
Great Art Nouveau buildings
Art deco

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca May 3rd 2007

Alex-Cairo-Casablanca Tom Griffithurl='/Videos/3009.html' onclick='dialog("/Videos/3009.html?popped=1","tbvideo",600,600);return false;' A Moroccan bar The name is one of Africa's most evocative, up there with Timbuktu and Kampala and Ouagadougou - "Casablanca", home of Rick's cafe and where Bogie and Ingrid Bergman had their cinematic love affair. The reality is not quite as romantic - actually, Casablanca is just a big, boring city in Morocco, home to about 5 million people and the country's main airport. It's not even particularly old - the French built it pretty much from scratch a century or so ago. There is a small medina (an area in Moroccan towns of old houses, labrynthine alleyways, and busy souks), but the city is mainly French-style architecture, modern office buildings, and wide avenues, wit... read more
Moroccan Renault
Look at my eel!
Hassan's Mosque and flag

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