Friday, January 14, 2011


Peter in our authentic Moroccan restaurant - vegetable tagines beyond compare!
Epic, legendary, romantic.  Who would have thought that a girl from Wilson, North Carolina would ever be in Casablanca?  Certainly not me.

When you think of Peter and me in Morocco think of the following scene in Indiana Jones:

Elsa: It's perfectly obvious where the pages are. He's given them to Marcus Brody.
Professor Henry Jones: Marcus? You didn't drag poor Marcus along did you? He's not up to the challenge.
Walter Donovan: He sticks out like a sore thumb. We'll find him.
Indiana Jones: The hell you will. He's got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the grail already.
Cut to middle of fair in the Middle East, Marcus Brody wearing bright suit and white hat, sticking out like sore thumb]
Marcus Brody: Uhhh, does anyone here speak English?

We are white - albino white - amid a world of exotic dark beauty.  The cab driver knew we 1) had more money than he had, 2) wanted to see Casablanca, and 3) could be charmed by a smile and stories of his children (ages 6, 10, and 15).

For only 200 Dirham, he would show us Casablanca for two hours.  He wanted 250 but we agreed on 200.  Big mistake.  Note to self... next time - pay the full price.

He showed us Rick's Cafe, the stunning mosque, the ocean and the waterfront promenade, the villa of King Abdullah Bin Abdulazic (Saudi Arabia), neighborhoods of the rich and famous, and fantastic shopping streets.  Then - as per our request - he took us to a wonderful restaurant for an incredible meal.  It was only a short walk straight ahead to the train station.


The food was delicious.  The restaurant was authentic, intimate, and memorable.  The train station was 3 kilometres away through a district reminiscent of the old ASU/NY Loft on Vestry Street.  Perilously close to dangerous poverty.  A drunken man verbally abused a woman on the street in front of us and we saw but did not intervene.  Later, she stood in the middle of traffic - confused and belligerent.  My heart said "save her" and my brain said "walk on."  This continues to trouble us both.

The ocean front athletic club for swimming and relaxing.
The ocean pounded the shoreline.  It was a dramatic and breath-taking.  The old palace did not allow photos and the lack of maintenance was evident.

We left at 4:50 pm and arrived in Marrakesh at 8 that evening.  Glad to be "home."
Rick's Cafe

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca - built from 1986-1993 - on the ocean.

Stunning naves

The extraordinary tile work and me... in a pashmina head covering.  Take one wherever you go!

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