16099964434_7cb335d99c_bCasablanca was the last stop of our Moroccan trip. The name brings images of romance and adventure but today is the biggest city in the Maghreb region and the economical capital of Morocco. We got to Casa Voyagers station late at night on a train from Marrakech and headed to our hotel straight away. It was near the port, on the entrance of the Medina and I though it certainly had known better times, it had a certain colonial charm.

The next morning we went to the Hassan II mosque. Built on a structure half on land and half on sea, the mosque is the biggest in Africa. Its minaret is 210 meters tall, the tallest religious building in the world. It’s an impressive sight, standing against the sea. Since we couldn’t make it to the visiting hours so we decided to go for a walk along the shoreline. The day was gray and rainy, so we stopped for a snack and afterwards we went to Rick’s Café.

The movie “Casablanca” was filmed entirely in studios, so Rick’s Café is not where Sam played “As Time Goes By”.  Luckily, it’s not a theme park either, but an elegant bar that tries to capture the atmosphere of the mythical gin joint from the movie. We had a drink there and really felt we were somewhere special.

Casablanca’s Medina may not be as charming as Marrakech’s, but certainly was less stressful. We wandered a little there on our way to the hotel. On the way we couldn’t resist eating some fried fish after seeing the locals doing it. People seemed to be a lot busier in Casablanca, less worried about tourists.

Since it was our last night, we decided to go to a nice restaurant: La Sqala. It was inside a fortress and had a beautiful garden. We had really tasty Moroccan food for a very reasonable price. Highly recommended.

The next morning we caught a cab to the train station. The best way to go to the airport is by train: cheap, clean and on time. We said goodbye to Morocco, having experienced in a week a bit of its flavors, colors and sounds.

[Text by Òscar Buenafuente/Photos by Karla Brunet]

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