Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jet Lag is nasty (Morocco post 1 of 5)

It took me 24 hours to navigate from Casablanca to Calgary, with 3 plane flights and a couple of short stopovers. I got home last night at 2am and was exhausted, but it's now 6 am and I'm wide awake. I've still got that dead tired headache and I'd love a couple hours sleep.

At any rate I thought I'd share a couple of photos of the trip. I started in Casablanca with a couple of days on my own. The tour left pretty much straight away, so I wanted a couple of days to tour Casablanca and do a few things before the tour left. There wasn't all that much to see in Casa, but I managed to get a few mint teas in before leaving the city.

Mint tea is a glorious beverage in Morocco - it's fresh mint leaves with a good shot of green tea and about as much sugar as can be saturated by a tiny cup of water. It's presented in high style - most of the time the tea is poured out of a teapot into a tiny glass cup from a great height. Pouring the tea this way perfumes the room with mint, and the whole thing is lovely to drink.

Casablanca shows lots of evidence of French architecture, even if it is from a different era. One of the photos below is of a hotel that is now in ruins, but the hotel is so iconic that it made the picture list anyways.

The first official day of the tour featured the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. It's huge. Not just a little big, but huge as in could house St. Pauls or Notre Dame huge. And the grounds are enormous. It's also gorgeous and very modern at the same time. The floors are heated, the roof retracts and the doors are hydraulic. It's a real marvel.

One of the amazing things about being on this trip was that there were only 12 of us, we could basically do what we liked a lot of the time and it was off-season in Morocco, and thus there weren't a lot of people at many of the sites we went to. This means that there aren't a lot of people in my photos. I don't really like people in photos, but in some places I've visited there are too many people to try and get them all out of the shot. We arrived early here - about an hour before the first tour, and basically there were only the 12 of us on the grounds that morning, and we got to take an hour of photos before any of the other tour groups showed up.


Michelle said...

Beautiful photos. And I love your descriptions of the sights and smells. I would love to travel there someday!

Anonymous said...

Being a HUGE Bogart fan, how cool is it that you can say you've been to "Casablanca"?!!!!
Sounds like an incredible experience!