Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Ibis Casa Voyageurs Casablanca
Read my review - 2/5 stars

Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, May 20, 2011

A night in Casablanca was intended to break up the eight hour commute from Essaouira to Fes, and a great decision it was. We arrived to Casablanca at around 3:30PM via bus to Marrakech and then a three hour train ride. We nearly missed the train, however since we were going off of the station clocks, all 40 minutes off, we just happened to make our way to the train, which within two minutes of getting situated, the train departed. Although we paid extra for the first class compartments, we were still two of six in the compartment, broken air conditioning free of charge.  

As soon as we exited the Gare Casa Voyageurs, we saw Hotel Ibis. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive at our hotel flawlessly until we checked in and discovered that we were actually booked at a different Ibis, the one closer to the city center. Ibis is an Accor chain, like our version of a Marriot Courtyard. This property was able to accommodate our existing reservation, so we opted to stay here the one night nonetheless. After a necessary refresh and check of emails, we grabbed a red petite taxi and headed to the beachfront boardwalk called the Corniche. I bargained the taxi driver down to 40Dh after offending one or two others who demanded 60Dh. It took us nearly 30 minutes to arrive to the wealthy beachfront area, regardless of rush hour traffic.

Worth the drive, we passed the stunning Mosque Hassan II, the second largest mosque in the world next to the one in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; and the large mansions on the hill. According to our guide the cheapest of these homes go for the equivalent of $1 million USD. We strolled along the Corniche, passing the big pool clubs and terraces, as well as the abundance of nightclubs; synonymous with Casablanca.  

In preparation for our next destination, Barcelona, and in need of a gastronomic change,  we scouted out a great Spanish restaurant and nightclub for dinner, the Bodega. After a large paella, delicious mixed salad and a great bottle of Moroccan red wine called Visoubilia, we moved downstairs to the club to dance the night away. Much like in Marrakech we could have been in any European dance club. We were enjoying the good looking people and the live DJ playing world tunes, but I could've done without the cigarette smoke. It had been a long time since going to sleep reeking of smoke. Anyway, it was only when we stepped outside at the end of the night, embracing and kissing one another, that we were reminded that PDA is not acceptable in this religious country.

Reeking of stale smoke was par for the course this night especially since our new room, post move from one with a broken AC, smelled equally bad with a conditioner pumping smoke all night. Restless nights are becoming the norm.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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