CasablancaSeptember 11 in Morocco
Last stop before going back to Tokyo. It was a wonderful trip :)
Last stop before going back to Tokyo. It was a wonderful trip :)
Our last stop of the journey was in Casablanca, a city where just the name directly wakes feelings of grandeur. We had considered skipping it because there are many other cities to see and from what we heard there's nothing all too special about it. But as it was on our way to Fes and we had time we decided to go anyways! Which was a great decision even though we were greeted by a dark (it was once again pretty late when we arrived), smelly and dirty. Also our stay was just a mere additional room at the back of an alley. But the host was really friendly and chatty. We spent some time with him before going for a short walk in the area.
In the morning we went out early so we can see all of the sights in the city. First we went in direction of the harbour to have breakfast there with a view. Then we stopped at a filming location of the famous movie "Casablanca". The next stop was a bit further away but one of the highlights, the mosque Hassan II. It is an impressive sight located directly in the harbour and made with incredible details! For the last stop we went to the largest mall in Morocco which has a large aquarium in the center, besides that it's just a normal mall.
For the end of our trip we took the train back to Fes and spent the night in the airport. The journey was exhausting but also very rewarding filled with culture and history!Read more
Day 1: Casablanca
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6pm – check with hotel reception to confirm the time. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. As there's little free time included in Casablanca on this trip, to fully explore the city consider coming a day earlier. Modelled after Marseille in France, the city is famous for its art deco buildings and the modern-day masterpiece, the Hassan II Mosque. A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous, the new medina. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals play football on the beach, or take it easy with a glass of sweet mint tea in one of the many great cafes. Note: Please be aware that some of our travellers to Casablanca are being approached by locals offering excursions before their Intrepid trip commences. This has been particularly prevalent in and around the hotels used by Intrepid. These guides are in no way connected to Intrepid Travel and we cannot guarantee the safety or quality standards of their tours. We strongly advise customers against joining any tour offered by unauthorised guides. Intrepid Travel assesses the safety of all optional excursions offered by our tour leaders. If you would like more information on the excursions available, please contact us before you travel or see the Intrepid-branded notice in the reception of your hotel.
Day 2: Rabat/Meknes
Today take an early morning one-hour train to the historical town of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, continue to Meknes on a three-hour train. The imperial city of Meknes was built when Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to create his own version of Versailles, using over 25,000 slaves to construct walls, gates and over 50 palaces.
Day 3: Volubilis/Fes
This morning is free to explore Meknes. In the 17th century Sultan Moulay Ismail turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city – visit his immense Heri es Souani Granary, a mammoth architectural feat, and the city's now crumbling imperial palaces. Try a camel burger for lunch at friendly local restaurant in the medina. Later, board a private minibus and travel for one hour through rolling hills and olive groves to the archaeological site of Volubilis. World Heritage-listed Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Upon arrival, take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. Afterwards, make the two-hour drive to Fes, where you'll spend the next two nights. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas.
Day 4: Fes
Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. Visit the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You'll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a delicious group dinner (at your own cost) of Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous. The group may also head to the Palais Jamai for a drink. Watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention is an experience you'll likely remember for a long time.Notes: Today’s experience will include shopping in carefully selected places. As the receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry, Intrepid has established a centralised system of receiving and distributing payments from these recommended suppliers. For more information, please refer to ‘Important Notes’ section or talk to your Tour leader on the ground.
Editiert am 23.03.2018Read more
Day 10: Aroumd
Bid farewell to the Sahara and journey over the spectacular Tizi n'Tichka Pass (2,260 metres above sea level) to Toubkal National Park (approximately 5 hours), photographing snow-dappled mountains and valleys in full flower along the way. At the end of the road in Imlil, store your main luggage and load a daypack onto a pack mule. Walk into traditional mountain village life with a one-hour trek up to the peaceful village of Aroumd, far from the reach of the modern world. If you don't feel comfortable with the walk, you can ride a mule instead. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the remote village of Aroumd offers stunning views across the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to experience traditional Berber culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain home (gite) in Aroumd. Surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, meet the host family and enjoy Berber hospitality and food. Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but cosy, comfortable and definitely a unique Intrepid experience.
Day 11: Essaouira
Take a morning walk through the valleys and trails of the stunning Atlas Mountains. Afterwards, head westwards for five hours towards the Atlantic Coast and the old fishing town of Essaouira, a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean. Sandstone walkways contrast with whitewashed houses, bright blue sky and the sand of the surrounding beaches and dunes. This artists' town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and its charm has seduced people like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. It is one of North Africa's most attractive places, and you will soon find yourself slipping into the easy-going rhythm of this Moroccan town with a European seaside twist. Stay in a restored riad, or Moroccan mansion, a traditional nobleman's house unique to Morocco that’s a calming oasis away from the buzz of the medina. Your riad is beautifully designed and decorated in traditional Moroccan style, cosy yet historical. This is likely to be one of the most memorable stays of your journey.
Day 12: Essaouira
Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Afterwards, use your free time to get under the skin of the town. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and on a walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and there’s much fun to be had observing the daily catch and its subsequent auction. A freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch is highly recommended. Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood, delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops that are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant. If you’d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.
Day 13: Marrakech
Chat with locals on a shared bus ride to Marrakech (approximately 3 hours), an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens. Perhaps join the thronging crowds for dinner at the famous Djemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls on this square it transforms in to a hive of activity. Snake-charmers, henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup! Perhaps enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and then maybe finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.
Day 15: Marrakech
Your Best of Morocco adventure comes to an end today. Check-out time is usually around midday and you are free to leave at any time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring here. Speak to your leader about the wealth of extra activities to do around Marrakech.
Danach waren wir noch einige Tage an der Küste. Und zwar wieder in Essaouira. Dort hatten wir auch ein excellentes Hotel.
Editiert am 23.03.2018Read more
Arriving into Casablanca was as always busy, hectic and very noisy. Once we arrived home though the warm welcome came and it felt nice being back with Fatima. The Moroccan tea with an assorted range of biscuits arrived and so began the girls love of the Grandma's tea.
The streets were busy and the car driving was as crazy as ever. It seemed like everyone was in a hurry to go nowhere. The patience level in Casablanca is at a all time low.
It was awesome seeing Younes again, how quickly took us to a great coffee shop which sold yummy crepes which kept the girls happy.
We met our niece and the girls cousins for the first time, Rhianna and Bershala. We bought some bubbles with us and was great seeing the girls all play without each other despite the obvious language barrier. The youngest Bershala is a splitting image of Yasmine at the same age.Read more
Die Medina von Casablanca ist ein Muss. Aber so richtig interessant wird es dort erst ab Nachmittags. Da geht es ähnlich chaotisch zu, wie Heidi und ich das mal in Kairo erlebt haben. Als ich so gegen 15:00 durch die Medina geschlendert bin, sind mir keine anderen Touristen aufgefallen. Da ist echt pulsierendes Leben drin und es ist schon erstaunlich, dass keine geführten Touristentouren dort angeboten werden. Ich vermute mal, dass die lokalen Reiseführer schon ein Problem damit haben würden, wenn eine Horde Touristen da wie wild fotografieren und filmen würden. Ich hatte alleine schon so meine Schwierigkeiten stressfrei meine Fotos und Videos zu machen. Ein Tourist kann das eben leichter als eine riesige Gruppe.
Meine Empfehlungen für Casablanca:
Morgens die große Moschee.
Ab 15:00 Medina genießen.
Rest kann man vergessen.
P.S. Erstmalig habe ich auf die automatische SMS reagiert, die man neuerdings von der Telekom bekommt, wenn man in einem neuen Land aufschlägt. Das ist echt eine tolle Sache: „Sie haben den folgenden Pass gebucht: DayPass M (Ländergruppe 3) zum Preis von 2,95 € (Preis inkl. MwSt). Ihren Datenverbrauch können Sie jederzeit unter dem kostenlosen Link http://pass.telekom.de (Deutsch/English) prüfen und bei Bedarf einen weiteren Pass buchen“.Read more
Casablanca ist mit über drei Millionen Einwohnern die größte Stadt Marokkos und liegt direkt an der Atlantikküste. Die Stadt ist das industrielle und wirtschaftliche Zentrum des Landes. Die sich von Medinas in anderen marokkanischen Städten unterscheidende – Altstadt ist durchaus sehenswert. Gegensätzlich: Medina und Casablanca City: Zwischen der Neustadt und der Medina liegt der Mohammed-V.-Platz, ein beliebter Treffpunkt für Einheimische sowie eine der meistbesuchten Sehenswürdigkeiten in Casablanca. Die Neustadt, Casablanca City kann man aber getrost vergessen.
Das einzige wirkliche Highlight ist die große Moschee (Touristentreffpunkt) und vor allem die ausgedehnte und wirklich interessante Medina. Das Leben beginnt dort aber erst ab 15:00. Ich habe am Nachmittag faktisch keine anderen Touristen in der Medina gesehen. Ich fand das definitiv das Highlight von Casablanca.
Diese Nacht wurde die Uhr (manuell) 1 Stunde ZURÜCK gestellt.
Wir laufen in den Hafen ein. Im Augenblick sieht das alles wenig einladend aus. Das Wetter ist nebelig und es soll heute 20 Grad warm werden. Da ich Casablanca vor einigen Jahren schon einmal im Rahmen einer Marokkorundreise mit meiner lieben Heidi gesehen habe, lasse ich es heute Morgen eher geruhsam angehen.
Eine gute halbe Stunde bin ich durch ein hässliches Hafengebiet bis ins Zentrum gelaufen. Dort erwartet mich auch nur eine atemraubende Luftverschmutzung. Aber ich habe in einem Café zumindest schwaches WIFI gefunden, um die wichtigsten Dinge schnell abzuarbeiten. Casablanca als komplette Stadt hat schon bei unserem ersten Besuch keinen nachhaltigen Eindruck auf uns gemacht. Vermutlich wird sich daran auch heute nicht viel ändern. Die Medina nehme ich grundsätzlich davon aus. Das ist ein absolutes Muss.
Ich kann immer noch nichts finden, was mich beeindrucken könnte. Schlendere ohne Plan durch eine schmutzige und hässliche (Neu)Stadt und frage mich, was hier lebenswert ist. Ich finde nicht einmal Motive zum Fotografieren.
Bin jetzt an der riesigen Moschee, direkt am Atlantik. Die habe ich schon einmal mit Heidi von innen besichtigt. Die ist innen, wie außen echt bombastisch. Aus meiner Sicht steht dieser Prunkbau aber im Widerspruch zu den eher bescheidenen Verhältnissen in denen die Einheimischen leben müssen. Direkt vor der Moschee ist der Parkplatz für die Touristen Busse. Einmal für 58 € Moscheebesuch auf der COSTA buchen - mit dem Bus dahin gekarrt werden - deutschsprachiger Reiseführer - das war's! Und die Touristen denken dann, sie hätten Casablanca gesehen.
Ich bin dann noch etwas an der Küste bis zu einem Leuchtturm gewandert. Hier ist ein Slam. Was für ein Hohn für die Menschen, die hier leben müssen und immer eine schöne Aussicht auf die protzige Moschee haben Hierhin verirren sich die Touristenbusse aber nicht.
War ich wieder an Bord. Ich hatte dann genug Casablanca. Ich bin heute aber auch stramme 15 km gelaufen.Read more
Got in from the train around 2.30pm. Caught the train from Tanger at 9.30am. Good trip even though it stopped many times. The toilet was interesting. It is a long drop straight onto the tracks. We paid for 1st class so we would be gauranteed a seat but we purchased the tickets an hour before we boarded. We had the 6 birth seating cabin to ourselves for a good couple of hours and I was able to lay down and have a sleep. We got company for a short part of the trip but then he disembaked an hour before we got to Cassa. We got in a petite cab and went to the hotel Mamoura. 60 MAD which is about 6 Euro. Cheap as compaired to home.
The room is pretty good compaired to the room we had in Tanger. That was very basic but this room is flash by Tanger standards. Intrepid booked this hotel and I must say so far so good. Just waiting for our friends Cass and Megan to arrive from the airport as they are joining us on our tour with Intrepid tomorrow.
Not so impressed with Casablanca as yet. It is very dirty what I have seen so far. The medina and the mosque has been recommended to us and we may head out there tomorrow as I think Cass and Megan may want to freshen up and relax this afternoon after over 30 hours in transit.
Day 2 - took a cab (the 5 of us) to the mosque. Did a tour of the mosque (1/2 hr) and it was great to see. This building is incredible 200m x 100m x 65m tall) It was consturcted over a 6 year period with 3,000 people working on it. They worked in shifts around the clock.
Walked from there through the old medina and then onto a nice resturant to have tea and a snack. Walked on from there through the new medina. From there we walked up the main street onto the market and had lunch. What an experiance that was. We had to pick our own fresh seafood and take it back to the resturant foor area and they cooked it for us. Very interesting and tasty. Luckly there was a lady dinning there that spoke english or we would not have known what the process was to eat there.Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Casablanca, إقليم الدار البيضاء