Map

History

Destinations
Casablanca
Rabat
Volubilis
Fès
Middle Atlas Mt
Sahara 1
Sahara 2
Tinerhir
Ouarzazate
Marrakech
Essaouira
Asni
Ouzoud
Fantasia
Final Thoughts
   

© 5 June 2005


Casablanca

Picture pages:  Hassan II Mosque  |  Lighthouse  |  Homes/Streets  |  U.S. Embassy  |  Market

Leaving the airport we passed through the better residential part of Casablanca - on purpose.  Our guide, Hassan, wanted us to see the "rich" part of town before we journeyed into the rural areas and into the Berber culture.  I got a quick picture of the U.S. Embassy as we zipped by in our bus.

The most important and impressive site in Morocco is the Hassan II Mosque, the 3rd largest mosque after Mecca and Medina.  It took 6 years to build (1987-1993).  About 20,000 can worship inside and about 80,000 on the plaza outside.  The king's entrance door weighs 75 tons.  The mosque has the tallest minaret in the world at 200 meters.  Two-thirds of the mosque is built over water.  There is lots of tile both inside and outside.  The central roof sections open for ventilation.

Mosques are not normally open for visitors(non-Muslins),  but we did get a tour of this mosque with an English speaking guide.  The hamman and Roman bath areas are not open to the public yet.  The Jacuzzi area has water, but not open yet.  There are two ablution rooms, one each for males and females.  The one we saw was most impressive with numerous fountains.

Close by the mosque, on the Atlantic coast, is the impressive El Hank Lighthouse and a nice clean beach.

Our last stop in Casablanca was the Marche Central or market.  From fresh cut flowers to live turtles, fresh meat and fish, spices, and baked goods made one hungry (or lose your appetite depending on which side of the market you shopped).

It was then a 90 minute drive to Rabat (92 km) in a northeast direction.  Spring was in the air with wildflowers along the road and yellow Formosa bushes.