Casablanca, meaning White House, was renamed by the Portuguese in the 16th Century.
The security of the harbour at Mohammedia meant that we could happily leave the boat and take a trip into Casablanca. The railway station is a short taxi ride from the harbour and the high speed train took 30 minutes for the two stops to get there.
The “petit taxi” is basically a small car, fiat, or similar; all with coordinated distinguishing colours; light green in Mohammedia and red in Casablanca. They clearly do not have an MOT system as they would be condemned in the uk. Our driver apologised enthusiastically in French, stopping to re slam the door, locking it so that it didn’t spring open!
The train was efficient and running to timetable which is a change from my experience in recent weeks on south east rail in England. Crossing the tracks on foot to reach the exit was a novelty.
We headed for the medina, the old walled town, to explore the markets. We happily wondered around the intricate and haphazard streets until we decided that we had seen the same resturant before and had gone in a series of small circles! Oh well, we decided to have lunch and try again to find the food section, a bit like exploring an unfamiliar hypermarket trying to find the one item you just popped in for!
After several attempts at asking directions in our poor French we found the wonderful stalls with spices, bread, fruit and vegetables.
Our senses were on overload especially in the meat section when I found myself standing next to the head of an animal with it’s enormous tongue hanging out.
There were also sections for fabrics and upholstery, engineering and repairs as well as clothes and the usual tourist souvenirs. We eventually emerged near the Hassan II Mosque which is reputably one of the largest in the world .
A fascinating day trip and a dip into the Moroccan culture and history.