Last Night in Africa - Casablanca, Morocco
We headed to our final destination, Casablanca, where Bonnie and I would fly out and part ways. L I fell asleep in the car the whole way (typical me hehe), while Bonnie talked to Iddir. Apparently Iddir, 26 now, started Marvelous Morocco tours 5 years ago with his family and college mates. It has been an extremely successful business, and to be honest, I can see why. Our tour with Iddir was unforgettable. He is filled with so much knowledge and care. Iddir was extremely friendly, but was completely professional at the same time. Everything was always up to our standards, and even with the poop in the toilet situation in Merzouga, things got handled quickly and professionally. There was extreme traffic from the time we hit Casablanca city limits all the way to downtown. A taxi even did a hit and run on Iddir’s car, but there was no way to find him through all this traffic! It was terrible, but with a positive attitude, Iddir still kept driving straight to Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in all of Africa, so that we could see it before it closed. Now that is some dedication! Luckily there was no damage to Iddir’s car, which was a relief.
This mosque was HUGE and extremely beautiful. It was decorated in more blue and green tones, with just hints of complimentary red. There were just amazing intricate details in every little crevice of this huge place! I personally think that this was the most beautiful place we visited throughout our trip. With the sunset seeping through the massive arches, reflecting off the detailed doors and stunning fountains, and the salty sea breeze floating through the main courtyard… nothing could compare to this moment here. Everything about this place was perfect. Such a great finale to our trip!
For dinner, I really wanted to eat something spectacular for our final meal in Morocco, so we found some amazing seafood places along the habour via Tripadvisor. Our plan was to walk, but when we suggested this to Iddir, he was completely against it and wanted to eat at the hotel restaurant. Looking at the little dingy restaurant, I did not want to spend my last evening eating here. Iddir warned us to look outside. Everything was closed and completely dark. He told us that although Casablanca is a big, famous city, it is also very dangerous at night. No one is out at night, not even the locals. He suggested that we have dinner at Rick’s Café, where they filmed the famous movie “Casablanca.”
Iddir dropped us at the front so that he could park his car. Rick’s Café had a fucking BOUNCER at the front and they were trying to see if Iddir was actually someone we knew or if he was a stranger who was a Moroccan local trying to get in. Apparently, only tourists or rich Moroccans can eat here, so local Moroccans follow in tourists. Once we explained that Iddir was our tour guide, the bouncer let us in.
This place SCREAMED luxury. Every detail screamed lush and expensive. There was a piano performing jazz downstairs, Moroccan inspired chandeliers, and the food was expensive, but definitely worth it! We had a lovely final supper with desert and wine, enjoying each other’s company for the last time and reminiscing of our trip.
We headed back early in order to get ready for our flights tomorrow. My flight back to CDG Paris was at 8:50AM, so we needed to leave by 6:30AM. No sight of Iddir… We were really worried so we kept calling his room with no answer. He finally showed up 15 minutes later and we piled into his car and rushed to the airport. WTF. WORST AIRPORT EVER. There are no lines with only groups of people just standing around, no indication of where each line is going, no attendants at the desks… I literally only had 30 minutes to try to get past this huge “line” of people to check in my bags, go through security, and get onto my flight. I was so fucking pissed off. I hate traveling in a rush since it adds more stress. Luckily, the line for CDG was actually a moving, short line so I got to cut in front of the whole group of people standing for another flight. I got my ticket just in time, ran to security with Bonnie, said very rushed goodbyes, and hopped onto my flight to Paris CDG just in the nick of time. Thanks Bonnie for dealing with my furious attitude and helping me with my bags. Love you <3!!
Coming to Morocco, I had a vague image of what it was like, but after experiencing this road trip with Bonnie and Iddir, my image of this country is now clear. This country just oozes culture and history. There are so many hidden treasures that can be found in Morocco, just as long as you look! Morocco will always have a special place in my heart and may even be one of my favorite places to visit. I have never felt in danger and I felt completely safe traveling through this country, yet coming to Morocco took me a bit out of my comfort zone especially with the poop in the toilet, cockroach crawling up my butt, hanging camel heads with flies everywhere, etc. This trip made me realize how thankful I am of the things I have, the life I live, and even giving me an insight on how I can better my life, possibly simplifying, living off my means, just laying down, relaxing, and enjoying the stars in this very moment. It has been an amazing few weeks in this country and what really made it amazing were the people I was with, Bonnie and Iddir. So many laughs, happy times playing with monkeys, dancing in the car so carefree, enjoying the crisp cold air of the High Atlas Mountains, sleeping under the stars in the Sahara Desert, home cooked meals… I will never forget my time here in this beautiful country! I will be back Morroco! :)