Logbook: Visiting Casablanca

TRAVEL NEWS

 

Local Time:  9:30 p.m.        

 

Time Zone: Western European Summer Time (WEST)

 

Location (Latitude, Longitude): 33°32′N 7°35′W

 

How far did I travel this week? 293 k.m.

 

How did I get around this week? My friends drove us around in their cars.        

 

What was the most interesting place I visited this week? The city of Casablanca.     

 

Other travel news:

This week the semester officially ended. Everyone at my university returned home to their various cities in Morocco and abroad.

We hired a van and the driver took us all the way from Ifrane to Casablanca, the largest city on Morocco. My friends and I were returning to the United States via the Mohammed V airport, so we had to get to Casablanca. We decided to go one day earlier than our flight just to make sure that we were prepared. We spent that one extra day touring the city and going to places that we really wanted to visit.

We first visited a Moroccan home for lunch. Our friend’s family was so welcoming and cooked lots of food for us. First we ate couscous with vegetables. Just when we thought we were full, the second course of food came out. We were not expecting this. It was an entire array of seafood, from fish to prawns. It was tasty. We drank sodas and a local drink made of milk. Then we finally had fruits for dessert, a very common Moroccan practice.

I liked the home. I especially love the unique couches, a feature I noticed in Moroccan homes. The couches run the entire perimeter of the room. They do not end like ours. They also have lots and lots of little colorful pillows on them.

I was also excited about visiting the Hassan II Mosque, which opened to the public in 1993. It has the world’s tallest minaret and was built right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It even has a green lighted beam that radiates far away, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

We spent the rest of the time visiting the marketplaces. The mall had many stores that we would recognize right in the U.S., such as H&M clothing store and Starbucks. We then took a walk along the beach and I thought of you all and the article on solid waste management. There was lots of garbage on the beach. Otherwise, I enjoyed walking along the coast and eating my Starbucks cheesecake. We ate lots of delicious food and enjoyed a lovely tour of Casablanca.

NATURE NEWS

Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):

Sunny:   1

Cloudy:   0

Partly cloudy: 0

Rainy:  0

Snowy:  0

Windy: 0     

What is the air temperature right now?  68 degrees Fahrenheit

How was the weather this week? It was quite sunny with warmth

What animals did I see this week?  I mostly saw some cats and dogs. Cats seem to be everywhere in Morocco. The dogs were big and on chains and barking loudly. I was scared. I also saw birds.

What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week? The birds on the beach and the vibrantly colored flowers were beautiful. On the drive from Ifrane to Casablanca, I saw many fields of bright red, purple and yellow flowers. This is one of the things I will miss most about Morocco. The flowers are very bright, plentiful and pretty.

 

OUR NEWS

What languages are spoken here?  French and Arabic are spoken.

What type of money is used here? The Moroccan dirham, the national currency.

How much does a bottle of water cost? It costs about 8 Dhs.

What was the best meal this week?  I actually ate homemade fish and prawns, which I usually don’t. It was quite delicious.

What music did I listen to this week?  We listened to music in Arabic in the car. I didn’t understand the lyrics, but I enjoyed the soothing tones and beats of the music. It reminded me a bit of Indian music.

What activity was the most fun this week? I enjoyed the walk on the beach the most. It was peaceful and we laughed and took pictures. I also enjoyed the view of the Atlantic Ocean as the sun went down.

What did I read this week? I did some reflective reading on some of the lessons I learned about Islam in my classes.

What games or sports did I play this week? I didn’t play any games this week. However, I did see some local boys playing soccer. They did not play on a field but on an open mud brick court. Some of them even wore uniforms to show their teams.

Other news from this week: I noticed how special Casablanca was. The old comes together with the new and modern in a world class city. Even the restaurant where we ate dinner was unique. It was a modern restaurant set in an ancient building that still had cannons in the terrace area.

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