Saturday, August 5, 2017

Another Day In Casablanca, Morocco.....

Today in Casablanca began with a decent breakfast in our hotel before we headed out on the road. Because our usual google maps does not work here, Clyde used Waze to find his way around. Before long the Waze lady directed him down an alleyway that really didn't seem fit to be driving on, but there we were with no way out. A local man waved us on through and continued to walk in front of the car to ensure that we got through the maze of narrow streets unharmed. Clyde DID stop to give him a nice tip since he earned it.

This Is A Street For Cars

Look Out....Here We Come

All Types Of Outfits Here

Plenty Of Fruit Everywhere

This Is Our  Savior Who Led Us Out Of The Street

Our first stop was Hassan II Mosque, the 3rd largest mosque in the entire world. This impressive complex of tiled buildings sits in front of the Atlantic Ocean, which today casted an eerie fog over it.
While most mosques are NOT open to non-Muslims this one is ONLY with guided tours. This mosque is SO huge that the inside can hold up to 25,000 worshippers and the outside 80,000. Muslims typically pray FIVE times per day either in the mosque or anywhere they are. Prayer call is done in a song-like type of chant that goes out over loud speakers throughout the city.

Hassan II Moque

Some Of The Ceiling Inside

Granite Walls And Columns

Large Room Where Up To 1,500 Men Can Wash At One Time
Muslims Wash The Face, Nose, Ears, Head And Feet Before They Pray
Women Have A Separate Washing Area

A Public Bath Called A Hammam Inside The Mosque
This One Has Never Been Used Our Guide Told Us

I Am Covered Up Because Women Are Supposed To Have Their Knees
And Shoulders Covered Here....Despite The 100 Degree Heat

When it was time for lunch we headed over to the famous Rick's Café. Inspired by the mythical bar from the 1942 film, "Casablanca," an American woman came up with the idea after falling in love with Morocco. She took the ideas off the silver screen and brought them to life in a real life restaurant. Despite this place being a tourist trap, the food was excellent, the atmosphere lovely with every detail well thought out, and the prices not too bad.

Rick's Café....Casablanca

What To Eat?

Our Waiter Takes My Order

Lunch Is Served
Chicken Topped With Caramelized Onions, Couscous, Vegetables,
Alongside Is Mint Green Beans And Beets, And Bread

Fettuccini With A White Sauce, Mushrooms, Sliced Beef And Bread

Looking Down From Second Floor

Throughout Casablanca there are locals trying to make money. Men and women stand nearby stores, restaurants and tourist attractions offering to help park people for tips. They REALLY do come in handy by stopping traffic while we park and therefore do deserve some money. But since Clyde has no idea what the denomination of money is here, he just hands them some coins. Usually they are happy and offer a word of thanks by saying, "allah." Today there was one man that sputtered something in Arabic. Even though we had NO idea what he was saying, just the tone of his voice portrayed that it was not enough money. Clyde handed him another coin and he smiled and walked away.

Arabic Stop Sign

Not Sure Where This Guy Is From But Gotta Love That Hat

Stopped In This Restaurant To Buy Bottled Water

A Sink For Hand Washing Prior To Eating
Typical Moroccan Food Is Eaten With Fingers Of The Right Hand Only

Moroccan Women All Covered Up Eating
Woman Nearby In Normal Clothes Even Showing Her Shoulders

Loose Spices For Sale At Grocery Store

We did some more sightseeing after lunch then picked up a few groceries to take back to the hotel for dinner. Flat bread, mustard, ham, cheese, salad greens and a tomato and for little money we have some healthy wraps for a quick meal. Morocco is beginning to grow on us and we are enjoying being immersed in a culture so extremely different from our own to broaden our horizons as we travel.....along the gringo trail.

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