03.06.2016 13 °C
The flight from Capetown (CPT) to Casablanca (CMN) was CAD$441 and a total of 18hr 35min with Quatar Airways. There was one layover at Doha (DOH) for around 2 hours as well. After we landed, I went straight to the Moroccan House Hotel Casablanca to check into my room. This hotel cost CAD$49 per night, which totaled to around CAD$150 for the 3 night stay. The hotel was very authentic to its cultural associations and gave a glimpse into the daily lives of its locals, but with a touch of the tourist hospitality. The amenities included free Wi-Fi, gym, restaurants and free breakfast.
On the first day I visited the Hassan II Mosque and The Corniche. After the hotel's provided traditional breakfast, I caught a cab to the first destination which was around 2.8km and 7min away. This is the 3rd largest mosque in the world, and the only one that non-Muslims can enter, so it was an extreme culture shock, but in the best way. It was a beautiful architectural feat laced with interior mosaics and minarets. It cost 140 dirhams (or around $14) to get in with a short guided tour on the history of the building. This is definitely a must see monument; the location of sitting right by the ocean also allows visitors to take beautiful photos. Next, I took another 8min and 4.1km cab to The Corniche. I took a walk by the beachside and ate at a restaurant lining the shore. As I walked I listened to traditional street music and got a henna tattoo from a vendor. At the end of the boardwalk was a clock tower, which, at night lit up in an array of colours to end off the day.
On day 2 I took on the Quartier Habous and the New Medina of Casablanca. The cab to the first destination was 9min and 2.7km long. It is a quaint yet traditionally Moroccan town with a decent selection of bazaars, craft shops, bakeries and cafés located close to the Royal Palace. The shopkeepers were not too pushy and with some haggling, you can find some amazing deals. After buying some cakes from Patisserie Bennis and strolling around the Mosque in the center, I left to the next location which was only 800m or 3min away. The New Medina is a wonderful place to relax in and is one of the largest house of Art-Deco shops. The tram that became operational in December 2012 is a great place to see, and with less car traffic, you can stroll along the main street stretching miles down. There is an array of cafes and shops selling things that would make wonderful souvenirs as well.
Finally, on the last day I visited the Musee Abderrahman Slaoui and the Tamaris Aquaparc. The cab to the first area was 2kkm and 8min away from the hotel. It was a very educational museum with an amazing collection of turn-of-the-century and early 20th century travel posters, along with other Moroccan art, decorative ware and jewelry. The building was quaint and small, with many a tiny cafe found on the top level where I had some delicious Moroccan pastries. Next, I made my way via cab on the 18.7km or 35min long ride to the Tamaris Aquaparc. It was a small waterpark with an array of fun family games and children activities. After some time there, I ate dinner at the restaurant next-door which is very well known with the locals for its traditional food: Zoya's. Once I returned to the hotel, I packed my bags for my flight at night to Thailand, Asia.