"As Time Goes By"
11.05.2014 - 12.05.2014 38 °C
We left the Berber Camp and headed north towards Casablanca. This would be the second last day we were to be in Morocco. There were mixed feelings as we all realized we were heading home shortly. We had a change of hotels for this last night. We stayed at the “Almohades” Hotel. This hotel had a beautiful entry and lounge area where you could order a quick drink. The rooms were again comfortable and quiet. We dropped our luggage in our rooms and were out again for a quick city tour and to see the Hassan II Mosque. It was Sunday when we saw the mosque and the square was filled with people. As the sun set, we saw a beautiful outline of the building when the lights came on.
This mosque is the third largest in the world, following the ones in Mecca and Medina. The minaret is the highest in the world, standing 200 meters. This mosque is very impressive and covers 9 hectares with two thirds of the mosque constructed over the water which gives the appearance of the structure rising out of the Atlantic Ocean. The prayer room can accommodate 25,000 people while the square surrounding the mosque can hold another 55,000 people.
The structure took 12,500 workers, (10,000 craftsman and the rest labourers) working both day and night shifts to complete the building in 6 years with 50 million man hours spent. The interior includes a museum, a library, a Medersa (Islamic University), rooms set aside for seminars and meetings, a subterranean four lane driveway and underground car park with capacity for one thousand, one hundred cars and forty coaches.
We walked down the boardwalk and saw the sun set into the Atlantic Ocean. Not many of us have seen the Atlantic from this side or stepped into the waters of the Ocean from either side. It was a treat we would experience the following day. We then went to dinner at the Oum Palace (the hotel we were supposed to stay in). We couldn’t stay in this hotel for the night because the King was in Casablanca and this hotel was being used for many of his staff. The hotel wanted us to have dinner with them as a way to make up the change of hotel.
We then headed back to our hotel for the night and a night cap and to decide where we were going to spend our last day in Casablanca.
On our final day, there were groups going to many different places in Casablanca. One group went by tram to the mall (does every city have one?). We stopped at the Harley Davidson store to get T-shirts for those at home. Another group went to Rick’s Café’ for lunch. We were supposed to have our final night here but it is so small, it could not accommodate us. There were some that went to the beach for a day in the water and others went to the market for final shopping.
The day was very warm and the walk was very tiring for everyone. Our final dinner was at a restaurant across the street from the Oum Palace. It was very Moroccan in décor and the food was delicious. One of the students had her birthday yesterday and we had a cake for her to finish off the night. The service was great and the staff was very friendly and funny. They had everyone laughing with their silliness.
We were back to the hotel for a final time to get our bags and say good bye to the ones who were staying for an extra day.
A sad farewell to Redouan at the airport and we were off to Frankfurt for our connecting flight home.