I’m now in Casablanca. I’ve never seen the movie, so have no idea of whether the movie actually has something to do with Casablanca or not. I also doubt I’ll ever watch it, although its probably above Titanic and Sound of Music. Back to yesterday, I bid Claire farewell and left her to do some shoe shopping in Plovdiv and an evening of arts in the old town. Claire told me previously to stop her from going into a “Promod” store and buying a yellow jacket and I didn’t manage to stop her, so doubt I’d have been helpful with shoes. Claire was helpful in suggesting what I should buy in Fes though. I’ve never been quite the same shopper since I came home with a carpet and wooden staff from Uzbekistan.
So this morning my transfer to the hotel was smooth, I could check in straight away and my room mate was here already. He seems normal and friendly ie. Australian, so thats a good start. We shared each others concerns for lack of beer, but looked forward to ample lamb and chicken. I walked down the street and found a main street with a tram. I can tell my Dad would hate Casablanca because the tram is far too modern for him. He likes rickety old wooden trams. I can see where the cities name came from, a lot of white buildings, thats for sure.
I walked down to the new mega mosque. The great mosque of Hassan II is a gigantic structure. It sits by the Atlantic and dwarves everything around it. I actually found it by heading to the minaret from a good 10 minute walk away. The views from the ocean on the side are spectacular. Its also the local swimming spot, but given its rock walls I can’t see how its safe to swim there. I tried to go on the tour, but it was closed for 2 hours or so, so I just lingered around and took photos from the outside. Playing football in the Mosques vicinity is ok, but then again its not Bulgarian grass.
I wandered back through the old medina, getting lost numerous times. In parts its a filthy smelly cesspit and in other parts its a lovely narrow maze of streets. You can buy anything in here, especially if you want brand name clothing and shoes, that are most likely not made by the brand name company…. I’m now just waiting for out introductory tour meeting. Not sure how many people are on the tour or if there are any compulsive question askers, control freaks that need the whole group to eat together or someone that just makes you realise humanity is incredibly diverse (not always in a good way).
I like the Medina gate shot – but (fizz, boo) where are the photos of the sordid/scungy side of the market?! I will be interested to read of the range of your travelling companions.
I’m still learning where its safe to get the camera out. Hopefully in the Fes medina!
A few memorable quotes from Casablanca and dont forget my Fez and Maltese Falcon
Captain Renault: What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.
Ugarte: You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.
Captain Renault: This is the end of the chase.
Rick: Twenty thousand francs says it isn’t.
Captain Renault: Is that a serious offer?
Rick: I just paid out twenty. I’d like to get it back.
Captain Renault: Make it ten. I’m only a poor corrupt official.