Ramadan is now finished. We can see the restaurants open and locals are more relaxed. However, there is not much to do in Casablanca.
Hassan II mosque
After our day trip to Rabat and as soon as we got some free time, we went to the great Mosque of Casa. It was built from 1987 to 1993, directed by 85 architects the main one being French. It was funded by the King and the Moroccan themselves. The outside is amazing with a lot of mosaics, columns and doors with different materials. The inside is stunning too, it is so big! 100m wide, 200m long and 65m high, the mosque can host up to 25,000 prayers inside and 80,000 outside! It gathers crafts from the 4 imperial cities (Marrakech, Fes, Meknès and Rabat). The King also wanted to represent the 3 monotheist religions: the main room is built like Christian cathedrals and the big balconies are for women like in synagogues.
It is also very modern as there is a sunroof! Yes, they can open it when it's good weather like in a car. Unfortunately, we haven't seen it open as the weather was pretty bad the day we visited the mosque.
We also passed through the room for ablutions. Before praying, Muslims need to wash themselves following a specific way and order.
The visit was really good and we came back on another sunny day to do more pictures. The light marble with the blue sky were great. It was the main discovery of our trip in Casa. Even if we never got bored, it was hard to keep ourselves busy...
I worked approximately 1.5 hour per day, sometimes not at all. As you can see, it was not too hard. This allowed me to update the website and prepare the trip coming up.
Each day, Mounir, the Aliwaa school manager, took me to rich expat students on his motorbike. I had 3 students: 2 Korean children and 1 Iranian lady.
The commute was so scary! Moroccan people don’t drive carefully and as Mounir said to me one day “here, everyone has their own driving rules”. Luckily, nothing happened to us, even considering the large number of kilometres we did.
We spent a lot of time walking around the city to feel the atmosphere, the culture. We visited several neighbourhoods, parks as well as beaches. Beaches are usually quite dirty. To enjoy a sunbath, rich Moroccan, expats and tourists go to the private pools with a view over the beach.
We passed by Miami and Tahiti beach clubs where 60 years ago, my grandparents used to bring my dad and aunty to build sand castles.
Meeting amazing people
Even if we haven’t been charmed by Casablanca, we will remember some unique encounters we did.
Mounir and Madeleine welcomed us in their home during our stay in Casa. Even if the apartment was basic, we enjoyed so many moments with them. We shared many dinners that Madeleine had kindly prepared: delicious! We discussed a lot about the culture differences. We wish them a lovely traditional wedding in August!
Assia and Driss welcomed us so warmly as soon as they knew we were in Casa. They were very close friends to my grandparents when they lived in Casa. When I met Driss, I met someone exceptionally open to the world, in a really good shape for someone of 86 years old and most importantly very funny! He reminded me a lot my grand father. Assia and Driss also gave us a lot of advice for the next steps of our trip. Thank you again for everything.
Elodie and Pauline are 2 expats teachers who work at the French school of Casa. We had some drinks at Elodie’s place as well as some good finger food she had prepared. We learnt about the lifestyle in Morocco and we laughed a lot! It gave us some insights about the life of a young French expat lady here. Thank you!
Even if we don’t regret spending time in Casa, we are overall disappointed. As an example, on the last day, we left home with enthusiasm to visit Casa harbour. However, once there, we realised it was only a commercial harbour, not the type you would spend time…