I had wanted to go to Morocco for as long as I can remember. I have a vague feeling that Adrian Mole may have planted the seed when he visited the north of Africa in the book Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4. Anyways ... whatever, I was going and my friend Kristen was going me for this adventure. Woo hoo!
I had taken the advice of many travellers I'd met along the way and had booked a tour with Intrepid. This is always a bit of a concern ... what type of people would be on the tour, would I want to travel with them or even talk with them???
Kris and I landed in Casablanca the night before the tour kicked off. We checked in to our very decorative hotel and went downstairs for dinner.
Quite an average but expensive dinner as it turned out with the painful strains of some poor belly dancing women serenading us. We later found out this is a hang out for local men looking to pick up a lady of the night. Too funny. This place will now be forever referred to as hooker hotel.
We headed out the next day to see what the town had to offer. We jumped in the world's worse cab and laughed all the way to the mosque. The wood and rope door handle was very ingenious.
The Hassan II mosque or mosquee as the locals say, is situated on the coast and is a very impressive building. It is the countries largest mosque and the minaret is the tallest in the world. Call to prayer was about to sound so we couldn't go in, although I did peek through the doors.
We then jumped into another crazy cab and headed across town to see the palace ... although it was a bit disconcerting that none of that cab drivers knew what we were talking about!
We found a palace-looking building, bribed a guard and headed in for a squiz. Quite lovely really but the local medina was calling.
Wandering around the stalls we checked out what was on offer. The colours, sights and smells were amazing.
Back to the hooker hotel for our team meeting. This is where we get to check out our travel buddies ..... and so far so good. We headed out to dinner, a few Aussies, a few Canadians, a couple of Yanks and the obligatory Kiwi. People who over the course of the next two weeks would become very good friends.