We have been home in Sydney now for three weeks and finally sorted through our photos from Morocco! Here are some of our experiences:

We started our tour in Casablanca, the town which gained particular fame from the same named 1942 movie. From the tranquil canals of the Netherlands we now arrived in a very different world and a different continent for that matter! In the big port city of Casablanca everything was hustling and bustling, especially after sunset. Traffic was chaotic and to cross the road we had to use a similar tactic like in Saigon: just go - never hesitate -  preferably cross the road with some locals - hope for the best!

We made it to the nearby souk where the sellers amused us with their game: 'Oh, Australia! Sydney, Perth, Melbourne… - I  have good Australian friends: Stephen, John and Paul! Come, come!' And before we knew it we were lead through half the medina to drink tea at someone’s shop! Of course we “robbed them”! The price we paid for a scarf and Austin’s “Jellabah” ( kaftan) was less than 1/3 of what was originally asked for and was only reluctantly accepted. 

We had some free time and took a petite taxi to the harbour side where "Rick’s Café" is to be found. It is a clever replica of the bar/café from the movie Casablanca. There is, of course, a grand piano but “Sam” was nowhere to be seen! The waiters however were playing their part, wearing the red fez’s over stylish haircuts and busying themselves around the few lunch guests. We went straight to the bar and ordered a G & T to celebrate our safe arrival in Casablanca. “ Of all the gin joints of all the towns of all the world…”

The main attraction of town is the giant Hassan II Mosque. This is a huge complex spanning over an area of 9 hectares. The large prayer hall is able to accommodate 25,000 people. 

The splendor of the marble columns and arches, the decorative plaster and tile work, bronze doors and Italian crystal chandeliers of the mosque stand in stark contrast to the dilapidated living quarters and alleys in the nearby Medina. 

But the children all look clean and tidy and share their love for soccer with the rest of the population.

© Austin Robinson 2019