Day Two in Casablanca – May 7, 2017
Our stay in the alternate hotel turned out to be good. The room was comfortable and only around the corner from the hotel we thought we had reserved. After packing up and taking our bags to the hotel, we contracted with a private taxi driver to be ale us around for a three hour tour of the city.
We went to a former old fort, which MuMu (our driver) said was famous. Then, we went to Rick’s Cafe. It was the recreated cafe from the movie, Casablanca, although the movie was filmed in Burbank, CA! Everyone wants to go there, but the menu is very pricey and the offerings not exactly authentic. So, bye, bye…
Our next stop was the Hassan II Mosque. Many streets were blocked off due to a 10k race this morning. We arrived to see quite an impressive structure. It sits right on the water and, supposedly, the floor is made of glass, so you can see the water below. We were not able to go inside, so we wandered around the building and grounds. It is quite beautiful and serene.
MuMu then took us to La Corniche, the beach front nearby. The private part is consumed by the Four Seasons Hotel and others like it. There is no beach per se, just a swimming pool and restaurants by the rocks and water. Further down, there is a public beach, with sand and a huge McDonalds. I can’t say that it was warm enough to go into the water, but there were a few brave souls getting wet.
Next, we went to the New Medina, which supposedly has more authentic Moroccan items than the Old Medina, where most things are made in China. We really didn’t see much of a difference. The only thing worth buying was a small bottle of Argan oil, a wonderful treatment for skin, nails and hair. The idea of schlepping more than that was unappealing.
Now we get to the good part… We met our tour guide and checked into our room. The building is very Moroccan and once we got to our room, I started laughing until I almost cried. Check out the pictures! Jim looks at home with the flounces, don’t you think?
We had our “Meet and Greet” at 6:00. We are a group of 13, five from Canada, four from Australia, one from Bahrain (but is from Hungary) and one from England, plus us. It should be a fun group. We then went to dinner together at a large restaurant, where we enjoyed getting to know each other. Aziz, our guide, is a sweetheart and has been doing this for a little over three years. He supports his parents, who live on a farm in the Atlas Mountains. They are Berber and are the native people of Morocco. Now, ready for bed, in our flouncy room…
We leave at 7:45 AM for the start of our adventure. More to come.