From the Travel Journal of Ian Donoghue
Awoke at 6am to witness the sun rise over the Moroccan coast and the arrival of the ship in Casablanca. Overcast and raining, with minimal visibility, so I went back to bed. When I did get up an hour later, I witnessed to coolest parking yet – a couple of hundred metres going sideways. Very cool.
Went for a walk around part of the town – admittedly we did not see all of the town, but what we did see is what all tourists from cruise ships would see – dirty, bad infrastructure, roads, decaying buildings etc.
The roads are chaotic – makes Rome and Milan look wonderful.
They have obviously developed a new language based on the car horn – all you hear is car horns.
Obviously a lot of unemployment, as people standing around with nothing to do.
Old, although the Moroccans say that Casablanca is a relatively modern town, but not as historic or significant as what they call the Imperial Cities such as Rabat, Fez, and Marrakech, or the international city (former free zone), Tangier.
Another movie myth busted. A town not to come back to.
We took an afternoon tour, which after a 1½ hour drive from Casablanca, took us to the city of Rabat, where we saw the Royal Palace, although we weren’t able to go inside, then to the Mohammed V mausoleum, which stands in the ruins of an ancient mosque and then to the Kasbah and the old Medina, before heading back to the ship.
Contrast to Casablanca was stark. Rabat is the admin and political capital – infrastructure was pretty good, big wide open spaces, good footpaths and roads and clean. Obviously helps that the King and Prime Minister live and work in the town!
An approx 1 hour trip one way took 1½ en-route and over two on then way back. Missed our dinner reservation – Ian not happy. Talking with others afterwards, this was the most disorganized tour/day that we have been on.