Here's Looking at You, Casablanca

Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
Trip End Mar 24, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Riad Salam, Casablanca, Morocco

Flag of Morocco  ,
Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just a quickie tonight to show you some contrasts between my downtown digs and my beachfront resort hotel that I transferred to today to meet my tour group.  It was a beautiful, sunny morning on my downtown balcony but I was very happy to check out of that area of the city and to take a petit taxi to the beach!  The taxi rides here in the city are very cheap - with a tip, it cost about $2.87 to get through the whole city to the beachfront - not too shabby.

Speaking of shabby, back to the downtown area.  Notice the buildings around my balcony in the first couple of pictures - very run-down.  Many buildings are French Colonial and Spanish or Portugese in style but quite a few of them are decrepit and falling down.

Now, close your eyes and imagine my new spot - it is a beach resort hotel along the Ain Diab and I have a lovely big room with flat screen TV, wireless internet, comfy beds, (yes, and a hairdryer) but the piece de resistance is the lovely balcony which overlooks the pool area and the Atlantic Ocean.  The sound of the waves breaking and the lapping surf is music to my ears.  If you squint and look out across the ocean, maybe you'll spot me kicking back and catching some sun and reading out here.  Fantastic and very relaxing.  As I watch the crowds of people walking along the promenade by the beach, I am amazed that no one is wearing shorts or short sleeves (it's in the mid-20's) and most women have on sweaters.  Interesting.  Even more interesting is watching the sunbathers below me on the deck chairs by the pool - they are completely covered up - like SPF 1860!

I met with my tour group this evening - there are 12 of us on this tour over the next 9 days led by a nice young man named Yacine from Marrakech.  Among the group are at least 5 Canadians - from Vancouver, Toronto and of course, I am there to represent the best spot of all :)  There are also travellers from South Africa, the UK, Norway and Germany - should be an interesting week or so!

Anyway, it will be an early morning - we eat breakfast at 6:30 and hit the "Road to Morocco" in earnest after that, heading to Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis and Fez - it will be a full but informative day!
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