Day 102 of 111. Casablanca, Morocco
Of course, the first place that comes to mind when you say Casablanca is Rick’s Cafe from the movie, Casablanca. Rick’s Cafe is fictional, but there IS a cafe built especially for tourists. I can see now the strategic importance of Casablanca. The city is on the continent of Africa, but just on the sea coast below Spain and Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean. My eye was also caught by the stop sign written in Arabic.
The Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
Our tour included a short photo stop at this huge Mosque. It is the third largest in the world and can hold thousands of people inside and even more in the courtyard outside. Unfortunately, we did not stay to see the inside of the mosque which was reportedly incredible, and judging from the outside, I can believe it. As we approached the huge minaret, it did not seem to get any closer. I wish my picture could convey the feeling of awe that this building inspires.
We had the opportunity to visit the royal palace of King Mohammed VI. The palace is where official business is accomplished. The King has a royal palace and a royal residence in several cities in Morocco. King Mohammed VI is a young king and a very popular successor to his father (King Mohammed V) who molded this country and instilled a culture of religious tolerance. The King’s wife is also popular and has been given the title of Princess since, unlike traditional wives, she is active in good works for her country. The architecture of the palace doors as well as the materials used were impressive and interesting to see. The doors on the Guest Entrance (upper left picture) are made of yellow copper and brass. The pillars on either side are Carrara marble topped with plaster work of fine detail. The roof is cedar and mosaic tiles create interesting patterns. On the streets near the palace the street lights have a distinctive pattern. They looked to me like olive leaves.