Here’s Looking at You, Kid

We’ve been getting a bunch of requests for an itinerary of our Morocco trip, so here it goes. This trip is highly recommended, but it’s also important to keep in mind all of our basic Morocco tips we already posted here.

CASABLANCA

We were also super dumb going into this trip, for two reasons 1) this country is huge and every city has so much to see! not enough time spent in Morocco at all and we already want to go back 2) we didn’t realize how much hired help we needed to get around, with language barrier alone being enough of a reason. Please learn from our almost mistakes ๐Ÿ™‚

We landed in Casablanca at 12 in the afternoon, and had plenty of time to see everything Casablanca has to offer (we flew in to the south of the country and flew out from a different airport up north, in Tangier). The police uniforms are on fleek, just as a side point (the policemen and T had matching belts, so you know they’re killin it).

IMG_6852

It’s more city-like and modern, so we were able to do this even with all of the standstill traffic we experienced throughout the day. We had a driver pick us up (shout out to Wahib!) from the airport, and take us around the city. He also dropped us off at the train station at the end of the day so that we could get to Marrakech (we have no regrets about not staying longer in Casablanca – except that it was the only place that had kosher food ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Moroccan Jewish Museum – the only Jewish museum in the Arab world. It used to be a Jewish orphanage. Felt really special to get to support such a museum. They don’t have tours, but you can walk around and see the cultural artifacts and pictures of how Jews lived in Morocco throughout the generations. We could not have done any of this without being in touch with Raphi Elmaleh +212 661-312673, who set up all of our tour guides, and built this museum as well!
  • Cerce de L’Union – kosher restaurant. Really hard to find as it’s in a tennis club, and also difficult to order food as the restaurant is in French. The food was INCREDIBLE, and a meal for all three of us was $35 all together. They charge for the water and dips that come with the meal, but still clearly cheap overall.
  • Synagogue Beth-El – also hard to find unless you know where to go – hidden behind green gates. Free of charge, beautiful designs inside.
  • Patisserie Fahal – oldest kosher bakery in Casablanca. People from all over the world who miss Morocco get their goods shipped from this bakery. It’s a few steps away from the Beth-El shul… also hard to find ๐Ÿ™‚ You walk within a courtyard until you see baked goods and blue doors. We decided to buy Chebakia as a Shabbos treat. Always fun to try new cultural foods!
  • Hassan II Mosque – largest mosque in Africa. Stunning architecture from what we saw on the outside. There are only three mosque’s in Morocco that legally allow non-Muslims inside, and this was not one of them, so it was a win-win.
  • Our first Argan oil pitch of the trip! This stuff is magic – just make sure to only buy it from a certified seller with a certificate to make sure it’s pure Argan oil, and not filled with chemicals and other dangerous substances.
  • Le Sqala in the old Medina of Casablanca – a shouk where you can buy goods. This was not the most friendly place to buy goods, and we peaced out rather quickly. Super persistent – one man followed us out of his store and around the shouk for a good five minutes.
  • Rick’s cafe, where they filmed the movie Casablanca! It wasn’t open when we went, but apparently they play the movie inside and you can also get drinks.
  • We were driven to a beach nearby – it seemed really nice but it was still the winter and it was cold out, so we didn’t stay long.
  • Royal Palace of Casablanca in the Habbous section of Casablanca. All you can really see are modern walls and gates, but there are nice shops and doors in the area.
  • Mohammed V/Pigeon Fountain – really beautiful at night, it lights up and plays music.
  • Casa Voyageurs train station, to take a two and half hour ride through the night to Marrakech. We bought the first class tickets (we tried buying in advance online, but it never worked, and didn’t really make a difference), which we heard was safer. It’s a pretty old school train – you kindav feel like you’re on the Orient Express. You are assigned a cart, and may share a cart with strangers. We were fortunate to be in a cart with Salim, who not only interpreted us to get a cab to our hotel (and for a fair price on top of that), but paid for it as well. As he said, โ€œFor every person who will try to rip you off, thereโ€™s another who will help.โ€ We will never forget you and your kindness Salim!!!!
  • Our hotel in Marrakech for the weekend was Almas, and they were so great about everything, especially when it came to Shabbos.

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