Guests Jan and Dick Yetke set sail on Prinsendam’s 64-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage in March, and we’ve just received these wonderful posts. We’ll catch up as quickly as possible. Enjoy the journey!
It was a beautiful morning when we arrived in Casablanca. We had an all day tour booked: The Imperial City of Rabat. It was a one hour drive up to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, and one of four Imperial Cities. We enjoyed the countryside scenery on the way – looked pretty much like countryside in our country. First we went to the Royal Palace grounds. We entered thru the main gate into the very large area that was like a city – several hundred of the king’s employees lived there. There is also the king’s mosque, a couple palaces for previous generations and future generations, and the main palace. We walked thru the vast courtyard, past the mosque, over to near the main palace entrance. There was also a private girls school inside the grounds.
After visiting the palace, we went to a huge mosque area built in the 12th century. The mosque area never was finished due to a huge earthquake back then, so all that is there are the columns that were supposed to support the roof. The Hassan Tower is there and they have built a new mosque across the plaza from it. The large mausoleum is there where are buried the grandfather, an uncle, and father of a previous generation of the king’s family.
The town of Rabat was very large and very clean. We then went to the Old Town and in to a large Kasbah (fort). Inside the walls of this Kasbah were living 500 families, all economic levels. It was very interesting to walk thru the maze of narrow streets where the people live and also see the souks (markets) along the way. There was a beautiful garden inside also. We find it so interesting to see how people are living in different parts of the world. We then drove back to the city of Casablanca where we had a stop at the largest mosque in the world, the Hassan II Grand Mosque) – holds 20,000 people inside and another 80,000 outside in the plazas – all for prayer. A very beautiful sight. After that we stopped in front of the “recreated” Rick’s Cafe (from the movie Casablanca) to take photos. As you probably know, the movie Casablanca made this city famous, however, the whole movie was filmed in Hollywood on a sound stage. Nothing was filmed on location. Apparently at one time, long before the movie was made, there was an old Rick’s Cafe that had closed. An enterprising woman from Oregon, Kathy Kriger, came here and opened Rick’s Cafe. So it is a popular tourist destination.
We also were taken to the popular famous United Nations Square for about 20 minutes to a shop to buy souvenirs if you wanted. Somehow they always fit in a stop at a store!
Hope you enjoy Casablanca and Rabat.