We arrived in Casablanca pretty early. The train ride only took about an hour. Our hotel was about five minutes away. Pretty convenient for a change.
The hotel itself was nice for what we paid for. We went up and refreshed before we began exploring.
The first place I wanted to see was the Hassan II Mosque. We walked through a huge market and by huge I mean huge! There were thousands of people there. We seemed to be the the only people that were foreigners. People however taught we were locals, until we opened our mouth. I wish I could just spit out other languages. Ugh, wouldn’t that be nice?
Anyways, I get sucked into buying things pretty easily. So I kept stopping and stopping to buy souvenirs. We finally made it out of the market but didn’t even get halfway close to seeing the whole thing. By then, we were only minutes away from mosque. When we finally got there my eyes were overwhelmed with what I was seeing. There isn’t enough words to describe its beauty. And the pictures still don’t give it justice.
The mosque is enormous. The details were immaculate. No tourist snapping photo after photo. It was us and the locals. Which to us, it made it a bit more special. We sat for over an hour and just sucked it all in.
After an hour or so, we decided to walk along the beach. We walked straight for about 3o minutes eventually ending in a not very safe neighborhood so we turned around.
The next morning we got up really early. We wanted to go and explore other things around the city. We had about four hours before we had to catch our plane to Milan.
We were eager to go see the Cathedrale Sacre Coeur. It was five miles away so we decided to grab a cab. Our driver told us that we would take us all around the city for 150 dirhams. Since we had $500 dirhams left and we were only going to be in Morocco for a few more hours we agreed.
We told him that we had already seen a few things, including the mosque. I thing our message go lost in translation because that’s the first place he took us. He took our camera and snapped photos of us. We decided to go and explore it for 10 more minutes since well, the place is beautiful.
We quickly got on the car and he took us to see other places. Non of them in which we could actually go in. We proceeded to snap some pictures of the outside. Each stop he grabbed our camera and would take pictures of us.
He then took us to the middle of nowhere. We were confused. There was nothing touristy about this place. It was a health store. We grabbed us both and told us about all the amazing products they offered. They kept asking us if we wanted a massage. We kept saying, no we just really want to go to the cathedral and we are running out of time. We ended buying this “amazing” product (so they said) for hair growth. To tell you the truth, I’m a bit skeptical. What if my hair falls off?!
Oscar and I began talking in Spanish. We thought, those people were ripping us off. Someone overheard and came running!
“You speak Spanish,” the man said in Spanish. “Yes,” we replied.
“Come, follow me, the women have come from the mountains and they have beautiful rugs at a very low price.” “Come, Come.” He grabbed us. So we went.
We went into what seemed like a house they had turned into a shop. They had hundreds of rugs of all colors. Each handmade. They sat us down and brought a hot cup of tea. The best tea I’ve ever tasted.
We were in love. All the colors and beautiful designs. We were afraid to ask, how much? We eventually did. The small rug we were looking at was about $200 dollars. My husband sold me when he said, “Let’s buy it, when we’ll be back to Morocco?” Never.
We asked if they accepted debit. The man said yes, but if we had an extra $20 cash for the women of mountains. We didn’t. All we had left was what we were going to pay our cab driver. He told us there was an ATM close from the store. He told Oscar to follow him and me to wait. We were both confused. Oscar followed. I stayed.
Then I panicked. Holy shit! I thought the worst. I was alone in a room with strangers standing right outside. Worst part. This went on for 45 minutes. I had no cellphone. I didn’t know where I was and I didn’t speak arabic. Where is my husband?! Am I going to end up in a bathtub full of ice?!
45 minues later. He comes with cash in hand. I watched how he gave our sales man $300 ($30 dollars) under the table. The only reason why he wanted us to to withdraw money was to get his share! Oh well, it was done. I had my rug in hand. Nothing else I could do.
So where was my husband?
ATM was getting repaired. He also partook on a little adventure I’m not sure I can share. We almost got in trouble at the airport. We had to lie to make it to our plane. sigh…
After all this happened, we were out of time. We didn’t see the cathedral but we have an awesome story to share with all our friends!
We quickly checked out and ran to the train station to take us to the airport. We almost lost our flight. The whole day was an adrenaline rush.
Now time for Italy.
Here’s a short vide Google photos created for me. I recorded a lot with my GoPro, just haven’t gotten around to edit everything. Will do soon!
PS: We did go to the Cathedral! This came straight from my traveling journal. Wanted to leave it as I wrote it for a better understanding on how I felt at that moment. : )After I looked it up I realized that it was one of the photos we took. We didn’t understand half the things our Taxi driver said, which is where the confusion was.