Casablanca Meanderings.

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The Moroccan national flag has a red field with a green pentagram in the centre. The green star represents the five pillars of Islam, and the red represents the blood of the ancestors and unity. Kingdom of Morocco.

 

 

 

Not certain where Morocco is? Neither was I..

Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912, however, it regained independence in 1956. Today it is the only monarchy in North Africa. Although the country is rapidly modernizing and enjoys a rising standard of living, it retains much of its ancient architecture and even more of its traditional customs.

The country is famous for its mosques, palaces, riads, and medinas, each featuring intricate designs and captivating artistry.

Some examples of iconic architectural landmarks in Morocco include the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, which was closed when we tried to visit due to our misunderstanding about daylight savings time.

 

 

 

This graffiti was on a wall near the hotel we stayed at in Casablanca on our arrival and for the final two nights of our time in Morocco.

Our tour ended the day before my wife’s birthday, however, when we planned the trip back in October 2023, we decided to extend our stay by one day to enable us to celebrate her birthday in Casablanca.

 

 

 

The Casablanca Tramway is the second modern tram system in Morocco, after the Rabat–Salé tramway, but is longer and has more stations.

It was first inaugurated by King Muhammad VI on 12 December 2012. At that time, it consisted of one 31-kilometre Y-shaped line with 48 stops, connecting Sidi Moumen in the east with Ain Diab and the Facultés district in the west. The line forked toward Ain Diab and Facultés after Abdelmoumen Station.

A second line was opened on 24 January 2019. It connects Sidi Bernoussi to Ain Diab, using the segment of the previously existing line from the split to Ain Diab. Line 1 was also extended from Facultés to Lissasfa.

We did not get to use the tram service as we were able to walk to and from the hotel, taking in the sights and sounds of parts of the city.

 

 

 

I wonder if the Disney Corporation is aware that this travel agency has usurped their logo.

Disney is very strict about the use of their IP, so I am certain that this was cleared and that I have not sent this company into a confrontation with a huge corporate behemoth.

 

 

 

The scales of justice? Not really as I saw this outside a market that offered lots of fresh produce.

That being said, given the condition of this set of scales, it does not look like it has been used recently…but I might be wrong.

The market is just off one of the busiest streets in Casablanca and provides locals with fresh vegetables, fish and meat.

 

 

 

Buildings both old and new.

Although Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco it is not the capital. That honour falls to Rabat.

However, Casablanca is the economic and business hub of Morocco. Thanks to the 1943 movie ‘Casablanca’, it is also seen as a romantic city with a vibrant nightlife.

 

 

 

It seems that this is a method to protect plants from pollution. Sort of mini-greenhouse structures.

 

 

 

This building looks like it could be a set for a film noir epic.

 

 

 

Did you know? New York City, USA. New York is the historical centre of graffiti culture. Although the first graffiti appeared in Philadelphia in the late 1960s, it was in New York that it evolved into an art form.

There is some great street art in Morocco, especially in Casablanca where there are tours available that focus on wall art.

 

 

 

With the old in the background and modern company signage in the foreground.

I was hoping that the building in the background would have a marvellous backstory as to what it was and when it was built.

Turns out, it is nothing special and belongs to the port authority.

I did think of concocting a romantic story about what the building was used for, but that might have attracted the wrong sort of reader comments.

 

 

 

Rick’s Café is a restaurant, bar and café that opened March 1, 2004. It was designed to recreate the bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1943 movie classic Casablanca.

Now a well-known tourist ‘trap’, visitors have to purchase something, either food or a drink, to gain access to take pictures. Management is aware of the buying habits of the tourists and the alcoholic drinks are cheaper than soft drinks and water!

 

 

 

Some of the buildings can do with a LOT of TLC.

 

 

 

If you are going to hang underwear in your window, there is every possibility that it will end up here…

 

 

 

Some of the older buildings are breathtakingly beautiful.

 

 

 

When I find a lock in this condition, I wonder why the owner closed up whatever was behind the door and never returned. I suppose I could turn it into the basis of a crime drama for Netflix or a similar channel.

Or perhaps this was an old entrance and the new one is around the corner which I did not get to see? The permutations are endless.

 

 

 

The old street lights fascinated me and were found in almost every city we visited.

 

 

 

A variety of transport makes its way through congested streets, while the older buildings loom large over the city.

 

 

 

Legal street art is encouraged in Morocco because it is seen as a positive form of expression and something youth can spend their time doing that brightens the city. There are many themes found within Moroccan street art.

 

 

 

This was the porter at the hotel we stayed at. Aside from carrying our luggage, he was also the master of the tea ceremony.

This ceremony is used as a way to welcome guests and express hospitality. It is customary for the host to serve tea to their guests three times, with each cup representing a different aspect of Moroccan culture: the first cup is for life, the second cup is for love, and the third cup is for death.

Pouring the tea from a height is thought to cool the tea, aerate the water through the bubbles after pouring, or give the tea texture through the little bubbles that characterise each sip. As a guest in Morocco, there will always be a glass of sweet, honey-hued Moroccan tea nearby.

Moroccan Mint tea brews are packed with calcium, magnesium, copper, fluoride, and selenium. Each one of these minerals is known to boost the immune system. They function in sync to prepare you for the relentless fight against bacteria, and viruses that can keep you under the weather for days.

The drinking of tea can precede, accompany and end every meal. Tea is also available at any time between meals. The day often ends with tea before going to bed.

Just one of the many customs we were exposed to while enjoying the hospitality of the locals that we met during our stay.

 

 

This was the company we utilized for our tour.

There were issues along the way, but nothing that could not be resolved on the spot. It did give value for money and if Morocco is a bucket list destination then the tour host, Linda, will give you that in spades.

As I have said many times before, if you go with no expectations then you cannot be disappointed. All my wife and I require is a comfortable bed, reasonable connectivity, hot water(most of the time) and a breakfast that sets us up for the day. On this trip, we almost had a full house of requirements. Those that were lacking, we accommodated and smiled. Making it all part of the overall experience and adventure.

 

 

Travel is the proud winner of this prestigious award from the digital British lifestyle magazine Luxlife. The award is in the category Best Travel & Experiences Blog 2024 – South Africa

 

 

 

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