Here we go, from over a month ago, my trip to Casablanca, Morocco!
The flight to Morocco was the first time I was served a meal in the air and I loved it so much.
We flew in late at night, and it took even longer to get from the airport to our airbnb in town. The events that transpired were quite hectic. The airport was pretty small and the customs lines were horribly long. We waited for an hour to get through. An hour in line. We made friends with two girls and their mother, and they gave us suggestions about points of interest in Casablanca. When we were just about to go up and get our passports stamped, some people decided to start cutting in line. In response to this, two men jumped out of line, went up to security officers, and started yelling at them, and the line-cutters, in French. I thought it was kind of amusing, but other people were agitated. Apparently the last train was about to leave and people were anxious to get on it. Eventually we made it though, and then we waited around to get an Uber. Tip: don’t use Uber in Casablanca when you’re trying to get from the airport. Just take a taxi. They cost the same.
Our taxi driver drove very quickly, too quickly sometimes. I think he was going double the speed limit at one point – 120 in a 60 zone (that’s kilometers for all ya Americans). The address our airbnb host provided us with took us to a beat down part of town, so the taxi driver had to call our host and talk to him in Arabic. Quick side note: it was very new not being able to converse with people. Most Europeans know a bit of English, but Moroccans already speak Arabic and French, so English isn’t really high on their list. Katie and I knew a little bit of French. We finally made it to the right part of town and the right address. Once we made it inside we yelled we were so happy. After five days in a hostel, we finally had our own space! After relaxing for a bit, we wandered outside to see if there was any food near us. Kebabs are very popular, so we got those. I love them.
The next day was jam-packed and relaxed all in one. Katie woke up to a cold sore. She had been that stressed out about our journey to Casablanca. We walked to the Hassan II Mosque, which is absolutely breathtaking. It’s right on the water. I have never seen a large mosque before and wow, this one just blew me away. We walked around it and took pictures for about an hour.
Next we decided to grab a bite to eat. It’s really fun to wander down streets and see what kinds of places you can eat at in new cities. We found a good restaurant with mint tea (IT IS SO AMAZING) and lots of stray cats. We ran into so many cats while out and about.
After eating we ventured over to the mall. It’s always fun to see what types of shops different countries have. Most clothing shops had modest options to choose from. I quite liked it. We stayed there for a while and then went outside to enjoy the 60 degree weather in late February. The mall had a water show too so we watched that for a bit.
Afterward we walked to the beach. It was low tide so we had the chance to look into tide pools. There was such an array of sea life. Tyler made friends with some young boys that were playing in them. They caught a small fish and convinced Tyler to buy it from them for 1 dirham, which is about 10 cents. Tyler then threw the fish back into a tide pool and the boys fished it out again, this time demanding 10 dirham ($1). Th poor fish wasn’t doing so well by the time we finally convinced the boys to let it go.
The next day we headed back to the airport and attempted to spend the last of our dirham in the food court. I went to Starbucks three times and asked the same guy for the same muffin. We purposely got to the airport three hours early, just in case the lines would be horribly long, but we made it through before there was a rush. It was just our luck though that our flight to Amsterdam and our flight to Oslo were delayed.
Casablanca was a really cool place to visit. I wish we would have had a few more days to explore. Once we got to the beach, we realized we could have spent two whole days playing in the sun. I absolutely loved the diversity of culture Morocco had as well. The country has a strong French influence, but it also made sure to be itself, if that makes much sense! I’m glad to say that Morocco is the first country in Africa I’ve been to.