Casablanca

There was the question: is there more behind this city than to be the scenery for one the most famous after-world-war-II movies? I asked a girlfriend to join me for a trip to explore this city. The name Casablanca stands for itself and most everybody has still Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in his memory. This even more fascinating, as the movie has not been taken there at all. So, we were excited. On an early Thursday afternoon, we flew via Paris to the biggest city of Morocco. The immigration-procedure took more then 1 1/2 hours, as a couple of air-crafts landed at the same time. We had a long queue in front of us, before we could pass the immigration zone. Meanwhile it was late evening. We took a taxi, which brought us to the hotel. After check in we went straight to our nice double rooms and directly into bed. I was early awake and watched out of the window. Harbor with docks and crane and playing kids. In a further distance the big mosque. 

We enjoyed an extensive breakfast. A taxi brought us to the next hotel, where next surprise was waiting for us: overbooked, no rooms, sorry for that! The hotel-shuttle moved us over to the Sheraton Hotel, where could check in finally. we stayed here for the next 2 days.

After this was all settled, we could do, what we wanted to do: explore the city. The Sheraton is perfectly located for this purpose. First, we walked to the "White Quarter" in short distance. 

We met a taxi driver who was talking English and he took us on the city tour. First stop was the mosque (of course). For this time, we just marveled the exterior.

Next point was the Corniche.  This is a 1 km long section of the waterside-promenade in the Ain Daib Quarter. It was beautiful there with the blue sky, sun, wind and the sound of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now we were desired for a coffee-break and went into the hotel Four Seasons, a place with very nice interior. The taxi driver wanted to wait for us and picked us up after 1 hour.

This time he drove with us to the distinguished quarter near the Atlantic. It was looking like in Malibu, cultivated ground vegetation, houses and mansions. We have not expected to see this here. 

The tour continued, and the driver stopped at the church Notre Dame de Lourdes. The 800 sqm sized stained-glass-windows were made by Gabriel Loire from Chartres. He also made the windows for the memorial church in Berlin.  

Last highlight for this day was the Habous quarter. This quarter combines traditional and modern architecture. Also interesting to watch is the art-full decoration with Henna. The women in Morocco use Henna traditionally to color their hair, hand and feet. It is made by pounding the leaves of the bush of the Henna.     

The final highlight was waiting for us next day after lunch. A guided tour through the big mosque. The name is Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II and had been opened to public on occasion of the 60th birthday of the old Moroccan king in the year 1993. It is the world 5th biggest mosque. Impressive! 

This was a short but cultural inspiring visit and we went back next morning via Paris to Hamburg.

 

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