Casablanca

August 19 – We took 6-hour train ride from Tanger to Casablanca. We stayed in a nice Hotel Suite, in the same Hotel (Downtown Hotel) that we had stayed in 4 months earlier in April. That evening as we went strolling around Casablanca en route to a restaurant, we had a mishap.

While crossing the street at a light, there was a major hole in the street (ca. 10 cm in width) which we did not see. Jonny stepped into the hole with one foot and fell down hard on the street, injuring his shin bone and the skin around the shinbone area as well as his big toe. His leg bled profusely for a while. When we got to our restaurant, Jonny washed out his wound with water and a kind young man at the restaurant gave him some rubbing alcohol as a disinfectant to clean out the wound.

He was in a lot of pain and had a significant limp in his gait when we walked back to the hotel. Jonny had brought a first-aid kit along which he used to further wash, clean out, and bandage up the wound. We spent much of the evening talking and watching the news on TV (BBC and Al-Jazeera) and were impressed with how much better quality the news reporting was on both the BBC and Al-Jazeera!

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (© Mervin Smucker)

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (© Mervin Smucker)

That evening we took a petit taxi to the Hassan II Mosque and were quite taken in by grandness of the Mosque and the surrounding plaza. It was completetd in 1993 and it is the largest mosque in Morocco. The minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres.

Mervin Smucker

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (© Mervin Smucker)

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (© Mervin Smucker)

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Tanger Beach

August 18 – We spent the day in Tanger and we Went swimming in the Mediteranean Sea on the nicely groomed beach in the morning, went to the American Legation Museum in the afternoon. Went to El Morocco Club in the evening for „drinks“!

Tanger Beach (© Mervin Smucker)

Tanger Beach (© Mervin Smucker)

We spent the night in Tanger. Walked a total of 17.5 km today!

Tanger Beach (© Mervin Smucker)

Tanger Beach (© Mervin Smucker)

Mervin Smucker

Tanger

August 17 – Took a Taxi (2.5 hr. ride) from Chefchouen to Tanger. It impressed us as relative modern city with a nicely developed water front on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.
It was founded in the early 5th century BC by Carthaginian colonists. The modern city now shows different new tourist and business projects.

Tanger Beach (© Mervin Smucker)

Tanger Beach (© Mervin Smucker)

In the evening we strolled through the Medina and along the waterfront. We played two games of Settlers and spent the night in Tanger. Walked 11.5 km today.

Mervin Smucker

Akshor Waterfalls

August 16 – Took a Taxi in the morning from Chefchouen to Akshor where we took a long, relaxing 5 km hike to the Cascades which lie deep in in the Akshor mountains. Went swimming in the cool mountain stream along the way.

Akhsor Waterfalls (© Mervin Smucker)

 

We returned in the late afternoon to Chefchouen where we hiked up to the mountain to „The Source“ where we had a panoramic view of the city and surrounding mountains as the sun was setting. We spent the night in Chefchouen. And the end we walked 24 km today, most of which was mountain hiking!

Sunset Chefchouen (© Mervin Smucker)

Sunset Chefchouen (© Mervin Smucker)


Mervin Smucker

Fes – Chefchouen

August 15 – We took a Grand Taxi from Moulay Idris to Meknes and from Meknes took a Grand Taxi to Fes, where we visited the Poterie de Fes shop and clarified our purchase of two ceramic tables and chairs and to where they should be shipped.

Poterie de Fes (© Mervin Smucker)

Poterie de Fes (© Mervin Smucker)

In the late afternoon we took a long 4 hour bus ride (on awful roads!) from Fes to the town of Chefchouen in the North which is famous for its blue-rinsed houses and buildings.

Mervin Smucker

Meknes and Moulay Idriss

August 14 – Today we took a train from Rabat to Meknes. From Meknes we arranged a Taxi to Moulay Idriss where we met Julia’s friend, Kristin and her Moroccan friend for lunch. In 789 Moulay Idriss I arrived at that place, founded the town and brought the Islam. The Mausoleum of Idriss I is also located here.

The town of Moulay Idriss (© Mervin Smucker)

The town of Moulay Idriss (© Mervin Smucker)

Together we visited the grand Roman Ruins Volubilis nearby. In the 3rd century BC Volubilis as a Berber settlement and flourished with the Romans in the 1st century AD but given up in the 3rd century AD. Volubilis had some well preserved mosaics and the triumphal arch of Caracalla.

The Arch of Caracalla (© Mervin Smucker)

The Arch of Caracalla (© Mervin Smucker)

Later we met and danced with the „Street Musicians“, who we had met earlier in our taxi from Meknes to Moulay Idris. We spent the night in Moulay Idriss. 

Mervin Smucker

Chellah in Rabat

August 13 – We spent the day in Rabat. We walked a long distance along the main highway and river to the ancient Roman ruins on the edge of the city of Rabat. The ruins were impressive – the Chellah ist medieval Muslim necropolis.
The Phoenicians established there a trading emporium, after that the site became an ancient Roman colony. In the 13th century the Marinids built a chellah, a sacred necropolis, with mosque, minaret and royal tombs.  The minaret survived, you can see it today.

We walked 17 km today. From the terrace at our Hotel in Rabat we had some spectatular views of the ocean and the water front to the West, and the Medina and the riverwalk to the North and the East.

Roman remains of Chellah (© Mervin Smucker)

Roman remains of Chellah (© Mervin Smucker)

13th century minaret (© Mervin Smucker)

13th century minaret (© Mervin Smucker)

Mervin Smucker

Morrocco: Rabat – Medina

This is my trip to Morocco. We had a wonderful time there. I tell you  – go and visit this amazing country. The Moroccan landscape ist unique and people are very nice. I went there several times, this is my trip in August 2017.

On the the first day of my journey (August 11) I met my son Jonathan in Chicago at O’Hare at noon. We flew together to JFK Airport in New York. After a ca. 6 hour wait at JFK we flew directly to Casablanca. We spent the night on the plane. I must say, I slept very little.

Next day (August 12) we landed in Casablanca. We met my daughter Julia at the airport, changed money and took some pictures. Then went by train to Rabat. We strolled through the Medina, visited the incomplete mosque  and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V , and walked along the polluted beach by the Atlantic Ocean. At the end we walked a total of 11 km that day.

Hassan Tower and the remains of the mosque in Rabat, Morocco (© Mervin Smucker)

Hassan Tower and the remains of the mosque in Rabat, Morocco (© Mervin Smucker)

 

This building, Hassan Tower, was supposed to be the minaret of one of the tallest mosques in the world. The mosque was never finished, however, and an earthquake destroyed most of what had been constructed. Only the tower and pillars survived and serve today as an important historical landmark in Rabat.

The Mausoleum of Mohammed V (© Mervin Smucker)

The Mausoleum of Mohammed V (© Mervin Smucker)

Mervin Smucker