"No great man ever complains of want of opportunity..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Day 10: 21 Nov 2012
MARRAKESH – CASABLANCA
Early morning we checked-out of the hotel and headed to Koutoubia Mosque. The mosque is first built in 1147, but demolished since it was not correctly aligned with Mecca. It re-erected and was completed in its present shape in 1199. It has ever since been the landmark of Marrakesh rising up from the low houses and markets around it. Its style is a Almohad, but a good deal of simple Andalucian elements added to it.
After taking a group photo in front of the mosque, our bus left Marrakesh and headed towards Casablanca. We reached Casablanca in time for lunch at Anfa Ranch Restaurant.
Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world, and the largest port of North Africa. It is also the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Casablanca is a modern city and beautiful in its own respect.
Casablanca is the setting of the 1942 film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The film has achieved worldwide popularity since then, having also won three Oscars.
Casablanca is also home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory on the Atlantic. The mosque has room for 25,000 worshippers inside, and a further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque's courtyard. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 meters. The mosque is also the largest in North Africa, and the third largest in the world.
We visited the seaside corniche and the Light House and passed by the Justice Court, Mohammed V Square and the Royal Palace. In the evening we were allowed to wonder into the Old Medina for last minute shopping. The Old Medina in Casablanca attracts fewer tourists than the medinas of cities like Fez and Marrakesh.
We had dinner at Sinatra Restaurant and later checked-in Anfa Palace Hotel for the night.