I have been lacking inspiration and just could not post these last days, I felt that nothing was good enough or interesting enough and I just kind of stayed in the shadows… But I need to get back on track and the best way to do that is to try and write something, most of the times, for me inspiration comes as I start writing.
Since we are dealing with really cold weather, snow, wind and ice in Romania (and in many other countries as well) I thought that a warm and sunny travel post would make everyone feel better. And in the last days I’ve been talking a lot and even dreaming about Morocco (guess it’s a sign I need to go back asap), so I figured that a text about this magical country would be a good idea.
For many people Casablanca is not a destination in itself but the first stop on their way to a more exotic place like Marrakesh or Fes. But if you do have a couple of days in this beautiful city, there are a lot of things to do and see there.
Casa, as it’s inhabitants call it, is the economic capital of Morocco and the largest city in the country. It has a perfect location on the shores of the Atlantic ocean and the climate is really friendly.
I had the chance to visit it during different seasons and even during the holy month of Ramadan and that was a completely different experience.
But let’s get back to our purpose: the list of things to do and see if you only have 2 days to spend in this place.
1. The number one thing that everyone would recommend and I cannot miss it either is to go and visit the Grande Mosquée Hassan II. It’s built over water, it’s Morocco’s largest mosque and it has a retractable roof. It’s an impressive place, that you can easily visit and it’s really worth it. Also, all the surrounding square with the beautiful fountains and the hamam inside the mosque are a must-visit.
As a side distraction here: you can just sit and watch the ocean, especially when tide comes. Also, during summer there are kids surfing in that area.
2. Eat local food. A place I love and I recommend to everyone is a restaurant called La Sqala. It is withing the walls of the old Medina and serves traditional Moroccan food and it is just perfect. Especially its garden. But you can experience local food on the street (if you do not have any issues with that), the sweets are delicious, trust me or, if you happen to be there on a Friday, go to any coffee shop for a cous-cous (even those who do not serve food will serve the Friday cous-cous).
3. La Corniche – the first time I went to Casablanca I was working from early morning till very late at night. I cannot complain, I was a prisoner in a lovely garden with a gigantic pool and heavenly food (plus the most amazing sweets I tasted then for the first time) but I still wated to go and discover more of the city. So I took an extra day to do just that. But the best part of that day was having lunch besides the ocean, on the coast (or as locals call it La Corniche). It is a great place to stroll, the place the Casablancans come to jog in the afternoons, where families have their evening walk and there are lots and lots of restaurats, bars and clubs.
4. And on the same Corniche you will find Morocco Mall. I normally would not suggest going to a shopping mall when you do not have a lot of time on your hands but this is an experience in itself. Trust me!
5. Take a few hours and enjoy the experiences of a hammam. I have a friend in Casablanca and she told me something I will never forget: whenever she comes back from a tiring trip, the next day she makes an appointment at her hammam and she is a new woman when she leaves.
6. Stroll along the streets of the old French quarter. You will be amazed by the beauty of some old villas, the enchanting gardens and colorful bushes of bougainvillea that adorn most entrances.
7. Visit the authentic Medina. Although many people would recommend the Habbous to a tourist (especially a female), a place which is nice and perfect if you are looking to shop for souvenirs, the real heart of the old city is the Medina. People still actually live there and walking its narrow streets will give you the closest feeling to walking the streets of a small, traditional Moroccan town. Do not go there at night, as it might be a little dangerous, but I explored it during daytime and very early in the morning (we were two very European looking women) and it was a wonderful experience.
I will also share a few more tips here:
- if you like to walk you can walk between many sigths but for those which are not that close you can take a small taxi. They are everywhere, small red cars, but do not fell alarmed if you are not the only passenger, it’s normal. The fares are incredibly cheap
- if you want to sample other type of food besides the Moroccan cuisine, head for the small streets around the business district (Anfa Blvd.) and choose any restaurant. You will find great sushi places, indian food, chinese and thai, italian or even perfectly cooked burgers. Trust me, I’ve tried them all 😛
- my travel companion wanted to check ut Rick’s Cafe from the movie and was utterly dissapointed when we got there. It is an interesting stroll (this was the cause of our early morning Medina walk) but it’s not something stunning.
- if you like to surf or wanna learn, then Casablanca could be the perfect destination for you. There are many clubs on the ocean shore and surf schools.
- please drink as much sweet mint tea as you can, I think it is my favorite part of Morocco, right after its people
- the perfect time to go there is for me during April, when it is a lot hotter than in Europe but still pleasant. During summer it can get a little too hot, but the ocean close by makes it bearable,
I hope I inspired you to consider this marvelous city is Morocco is on your travel list. I will make a similar article for Fes.
Meanwhile I will leave you with the ocean:
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