Everyone advised us not to go to Casablanca. But we decided to spend a day there anyway, and it was well worth it.
Cale was still a bit under the weather on our last day in Morocco. (Oh yeah, I guess I should mention Cale got really sick in Morocco and missed a bunch of Fez sightseeing, as well as Meknes and Volubilis. He’s ok now, thanks to our emergency Cipro and the free medical advice of trusty Aunt Pam!)
We took the train to Casablanca to spend the day, as our flight to Ghana was leaving at 1am. Top on the list was to visit the Hassan II mosque. Finished in the early 90’s, it’s located right on the oceanfront of Casablanca. This mosque is massive. It can hold 80,000 worshippers inside, and another 25,000 in the courtyard. Its minaret is 60 stories high, and is topped with a laser that points to Mecca at night time. Knowing that Morocco is 98% Muslim, I’m sure they could fill the mosque pretty easily, but I wonder how full it gets on a daily basis during the call to prayer.
I had trouble taking photos because there’s no way to capture the whole thing in one shot that truly shows how spectacular it is. But I’ll post them here anyway.
After wandering around outside the mosque for a bit, we decided to visit Rick’s Café. Neither of us have ever seen the movie Casablanca but we wanted to try out the café anyway for dinner.
When we arrived we were slightly concerned we wouldn’t get let in. There was a doorman who was dressed extremely well, while we looked like a couple that only brought three outfits on a year-long trip. Cale quickly put on a collared shirt and we attempted to get in… successfully (later we saw some women denied entry because their skirts were too short!).
What a beautiful restaurant! And the food was amazing. It was expensive compared to everything else we ate in Morocco, but still cheap compared to a fancy restaurant back home. And it was a dream come true to have a bathroom… with a toilet that flushed… and toilet paper… and a sink with running water… and had soap along with hand-towels. (It’s the little things. All these at once was a rarity in Morocco).
Compare this schmancy restaurant to a ‘nice’ toilet I had used earlier in the day. I apologize in advance for posting this photo.
That was all the sightseeing we had time for in Casablanca. We’ve been in Ghana for about 12 days now! I’ll post more soon.