A sprawling mass of construction sites, cranes and rubbish.
We had not spent much time in Casablanca on previous visits so we drove down on Tuesday, overnighting at the Park Suites Hotel in the centre of the Casablanca's 'downtown'. We drove down along the coast, rather than on the freeway, and it was most interesting. For almost the entire distance there literally tens of thousands of new residential units being constructed. The market for these units would be the wealthier Moroccan residents, often as holiday or weekend retreats. The scale of development is staggering. Sadly as we drove down rubbish, litter and building waste constantly and graphically confronted us.
There were quite a few pleasant beaches to see scattered inbetween the rugged coastline. Rock and beach fishing is a very popular pastime and there were many fishermen on the edge of steep and exposed rock ledges. Such good looking spots with so many anglers, success a certainty?
In Casablanca we were quickly reminded of the French influence with the still graceful palm lined avenues and white washed art deco buildings, still in very good condition. Morocco became independent from France in 1956.
One of our first 'sights' was Rick's Cafe, and like millions before us we went in for a drink and a nosey about. In fact, it is true that Rick 's Cafe in Casablanca was not feautured in the famous movie with Bogart and Bergman. The Cafe/bar is just a reconstruction of the film set! Anyway we enjoyed the drink and the atmosphere.
Because it was Ramadan there were very limited of eating and coffee options during the day. So the story winds back to Maccas, again!
Then a short tour of Casablancas Mosque, Hassan II. What an impressve structure, massive size - so big that 25000 male and 12000 female worshippers can be catered for at any one time! One of the photos is of the ceiling, showing where it opens to let in natural light!
A few more photos, of new developments, close to Casablanca and another beach we visited, albeit not for long. The Atlantic coastline in this region is very scenic and the strip between Rabat and Casablanca is developing extremely quickly. This area could become Morocco's Gold Coast, without the tall buildings!
This is the last blog from Rabat. We travel to the UK on Tuesday. First a few days around Stratford upon Avon, where we will join in celarbrations of William Shakespeare's 600th birthday! Sorry, let's correct that, he's just 400 this year.