Our plane landed in Casablanca - Bogie never slept here - and after a walking tour we were taken by bus to Rabat, the capital of Morroco. In Rabat we were first introduced to The Tea Ceremony which we were to witness everywhere we went.
We then left the Atlantic coast and drove in land to the agricultural region where we visited Volbulis, an ancient Roman town. The Roman empire has facinated me since I studied Latin in high school and now I have seen its ruins all around the Mediterranean.
Moulay Ismail, around 1672 was instrumental in raising Meknes to the rank of an imperial city..
Fez is the embodiment of the country's histry and its spiritual and religious capital. It is not surprising that it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
We then headed south to the Sahara desert for three nights of camping in the desert.
After leaving our tents in the Sahara we drove across the Stone Mountains and were more than ready, and greatful, for the warm rooms and showers in Tinehir. We toured the city and then drove into the Atlas Mountains to Gorges Tudra. That evening, before dinner, the ladies had their hands decorated with Henna. The following day, although it was cold and raining, we again went into the Atlas mountains to Gorges Dades and then had lunch with an iman.
Our journey next took us to Ouarzazate an ancient caravan stop and city made important as an outpost of the French Foreign Legion.
Alt Benhaddou, an ancient Berber city and the site of many movies, was as much like a fantasy land as we could hope to see.
When we finally arrived at the fabeled city of Marrakech, it was like having finally arriving at the Emerald City in the Land of OZ after traveling for weeks on the yellow brick road. Here the souks and sites are just magical.
Our four day post-trip took us to Essauira, a Portugese city on the Atlantic ocean, a mule safari through the Atlas mountains, and the Cascades d'Ouzoud.
We arrive in Morocco at sunrise and are introduced to the beaches of Casablanca
We are taken to a restaurant overlooking the ocean and
a cold early morning wind blows across the Atlantic as Fran is
served hot mint tea and pastries
After a long flight Fran is entitled to more than one pastry
Bob discovers it is orange season in Morocco
The Mosque of King Hassan II is the 3d largest Mosque in the world. Minnesota Twins
eat your heart out. The cedar roof over the main portion of the Mosque can be retracted
in three minutes and closed in two.
Delicate tile work on the Minaret on the King Hussan II Mosque. Green is the
color of Islam and that is why all the tile is that color.
Tile work on the Mosque
Interior of the Mosque. In the center of this picture is the niche which, in
this part of the world, is always located in the western end of the prayer hall.
If you face the niche when you pray you will always be facing east toward Mecca
which is an Islamic requirement. Believe it or not, in Minnesota the niche is
located so the faithful face northeast over top of the globe to Mecca. To
the right of the niche is the Minbar, or pulpit, which is decorated with verses
from the Koran. This Mosque will accommodate 20,000 male worshippers while another
80,000 can pray in the surrounding area.
Men and women do not worship together in the Mosque. On the second floor, and
hidden from view, is the women's gallery which has room for 5,000 worshippers.
Beautiful cedar geometric artwork on the ceiling. This is only a tiny part
of the cedar wood carved ceiling in the Mosque of Hassan II. Imagine this
in three dimensions if you can.
Family in the park in Casablanca
Flowers in the market
Meat on the hoof in the open market. But note it has been inspected and has a bar code.
Fresh fish neatly laid out for sale
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015