One of the amazing aspects of our tour of Morocco late last year was the amazing mosaics – everywhere. If you want to appreciate the beauty of this form of architectural design and decoration, go to Morocco. You won’t be disappointed.
On our first full day of our two week tour we visited the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. This magnificent building abounds in the best examples of mosaic art work in the country. Today I feature just a few tastes of that beauty; more will be shown in coming days.
On the first morning of our tour of Morocco we left our hotel in Casablanca early and within a few minutes’ drive we had arrived at the magnificent Hassan II Mosque. This is a truly amazing building in many ways:
- It is the 7th largest mosque in the world
- The minaret at 210 metres is the tallest in the world
- It is built out over the sea, which made it a challenging engineering project
- The mosaics and artistry are only two of its great attributes
In the coming days I will post many more photos of this truly amazing building.
On our first evening of our tour of Morocco we braved the wet conditions to go for an evening walk. After sitting in planes for many hours we were all pleased to get out, stretch our legs, get some fresh air and exercise. Most of the rain had by then dissipated and the wind was minimal, though quite cool. On all of our six week trip this was the only rain we had, except for some light drizzle in Spain one morning a few weeks later.
I would dearly have loved to have had the time to explore this exotic city in much more detail, but we had arrived late afternoon and were scheduled to leave on our guided tour early the next morning. After our walk we had a short rest in our rooms, then decided to use the hotel restaurant for dinner. We sat with a woman from Canada who was also doing the tour with us, so it was good to get to know her and share some travel experiences and backgrounds with each other.
After dinner we had a tour group meeting with Said, our guide, and were able to meet the other people in the tour group. They were a mixed group of people from Australia, China, USA, England and Canada with ages ranging from late 20s to mid 70s.
After settling into our hotel in Casablanca, we went for a short pre-dinner walk despite the light drizzle. I just had to take the photos of the inside of the hotel before we left; the inner courtyard was delightful – our first taste of the mosaics so iconic of Morocco. In the coming days and weeks on this site I will be sharing many, many more photos of beautiful buildings and more, more, more mosaics. Stay tuned.
One of the attractions of coming to Morocco as a part of our itinerary was to visit exotic Casablanca. I guess I had an idealised vision of this city based on the romantic notions brought about by the classic movie of the same name. The movie’s depiction of this city is far removed from reality by time and modernisation. Down-town Casablanca is as modern as any city elsewhere in the world.
Some day I would like to return and explore this city in more detail than the few hours we spent there on this trip.
That says it all.
From visiting our daughter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for two weeks we flew out in the early hours to Casablanca. We couldn’t get a direct flight so we had to go via Cairo. Sadly we didn’t have more than a few hours there – and spent all of our “visit” to Egypt in the transit lounge. I was also disappointed that we were on the wrong side of the plane coming into Cairo. The pilot announced that the pyramids could be see off to the left; we were sitting on the right-hand side of the plane. The pyramids will have to wait until another trip; I guess they’re not going anywhere in a hurry.
The flights to Casablanca were uneventful. Getting through customs, however, took forever. After the delay we were united again with our daughter who had arrived on a different flight as we couldn’t get seats on the same flights. We also met our tour guide for our time in Morocco, Said, who we instantly took a liking to; he was the perfect guide for our two week tour of his country.
As we left the airport our first views of Morocco were rain soaked. This was the first rain we’d had since leaving home, and the last for the whole trip – except for a light drizzle one day a few weeks later. Our driver quickly whisked us through down-town Casablanca to our hotel for the night, and we quickly settled into our very comfortable rooms.
Today I’ve posted several photos taken of Casablanca from the balcony of our hotel. Not very exciting, and rain splattered as well.