casablanca in a nutshell
Casablanca, the white city with 4 milion inhabitants... Not exactly a pretty city, but with its moments of charm... Casablanca is the economic capital capital of Morocco, and it's very cosmopolitan. It's also famous for its nightlife (did not check it out) and its excellent restaurants (truly excellent). Compared to the rest of Morocco it's supposed to be much dirther and slightly more dangerous - yet it is really not as bad as western cities of the same size. My fondest memory in Casablanca is the architecture. Hassan II mosque is just so beautiful - it's worth visiting Casalanca just to see it, really. Less eye-catching, but very beautiful, are the old French colonial buildings that are left in town... there's some superb architecture to be seen. By contrast, one should not visit Casablanca in search of ancient oriental buildings - even the old medina, though charming, is nothing spectacular compared to the one of marrakech.
...and i just love how the doors were done, and the space left open above them... There are a lot of details, and the place is very clean..
Here, you can compare the size of the people against the size of the door -- now you can imagine the size of the minaret!!!
The Henna Ladies
"Henna ladies" (as I like to call them) are ubiquitous in Morocco. Often they will aggressively grab your hand in an effort to start the hennaing process before you can say "no" or strike a price. I found that the best way to deal with this is to have your hands hennaed at the very first opportunity (either back home or when you first land in Morocco). When a Henna Lady grabs your hand and sees that someone has beaten her to you, she'll back off immediatel ... it's easier than saying no over & over again.
Casablanca. Mosque of Hassan 2 -
The king of Morocco at the time, Hassan 2, first mentioned this mosque in 1980, declaring that he would build it on the water, because the throne of God is on the water.
The mosque was inaugurated on August 30, 1993. It was designed by the French architect, Michel Pinseau, and has the tallest minaret in the world, with its 200 metres. There is room for 20,000 worshippers inside the mosque at the same time, and the courtyard gives space for another 80,000.
2,500 men worked on two shifts in order to complete the mosque of Hassan 2. The marble came from Agadir, the granite from Tafraoute, while the glass was imported from Venice, Italy.
The mosque was funded by donations, and the total cost was an estimated US$800,000,000.
Casablanca is full of discos, most of them are hotel's nightclubs, I had the best time in Cabarets, where you can drink beer, listen to Moroccan music and, sometime watch some belly dance performances. I must say that Morocco is one of the places where people are more formal in dressing, you see really many elegant epople in the cabarets, bars or elsewhere, anyway, even if I was absolutely casual, I had never have trouble in entering any place.