Moorish Empire 2010 Travel Journal

To Marrakesh

Oct 11, 2010 Mon
05:45To Marrakesh
06:55 majestic hotel
350dhm include breakfast
more seedy than majestic
fridge, tv, good hot water, air con. It looks kind of dated.
08:30Hassan II Mosque
08:36 car near grand mosque
08:39 grand mosque
08:53Mosque Tour
Entrance: 120d
tour time: 9am, 10am, 11?
09:04 hassan mosque tour
09:11 inside hassan ii mosque
09:13 hassan ii mosque window
09:16 hassan ii mosque
The architect of the Mosque is a French man, Michele Pensu, not a Muslim
It is the 3rd largest in the world
All material came from Moroccan mountains (e.g. the Cedar roof)
All tree from south Morocco
Chandelier from Venice (only thing not from Morocco)
Two white columns were from Italy
It could host 25000 worshippers one time
The floor is heated at winter
It was built at 1983 (6 years)
Roof can be open to the sky (No air con so roof can open)

Angry wind from the Atlantic... A vast plaza making everyone looks so small. A majestic mosque. Even when crowded with tourists, the interior still gave an empty feeling. Brass chandelier hanging from the ceiling... white marble columns... the windows looking out to the sea... dried fountain. Islamic decoration. Every closed doors looked heavy, decorated to a tedious detail... Strong brass doors... marble floors which is heated in the winter. cedar wood ceiling hung high above... could open to heaven in a sunny day. But today the wind was angry. We can hardly stood against the wind...
09:17Hassan II Mosque
Strong wind
09:23 arch of hassan ii mosque
09:26 white columns from italy
Direction to east (to Mecca)
Chair is for Iman, pray on Friday

Loud speakers hidden in columns
09:29 windows from hassan ii mosque
09:29 windows to atlantic
09:30 light of outside world
09:31 hidden speakers in white columns
09:35 mosque exit
09:37 washing fountain
wash 3 times, left and right foot, elbow
Pillar made of limestone, mixture of... to absorb humidity, so the chandelier are not oxidized
09:38 turkish hammam
09:44 outside grand mosque
09:44 photographer outside grand mosque
09:48 hammam
for both Muslims and non Muslims
09:54 moors pattern
09:56 casablanca beach
10:00 grand mosque of casablanca
10:02 mosque arch
10:02 hassan mosque full picture
10:03 arch of grand mosque
10:10City walk
10:16 rick's cafe
10:21 casblanca medina mosque
10:21 casa medina restaurant
10:30Medina Clock Tower
10:45 casablanca medina
10:49 cinema rialto
10:52 casablanca building
10:55 casablanca window
11:27To Train Station
return taxi only cost 9
11:36Lunch near train station
veggie Pizza and coke
Price: 50d
It is OK, pizza a bit burnt but good overall
next to train station
11:38 resturant near casablanca train station
12:30 casa voyager
Does not have drop luggage service, but they do have praying room
The closer station is Casa Port
12:37Train to Marrakech
around 4hrs
12:38:42 waiting for train
13:04:24 still waiting, seem to delay 25 mins
around 1:15pm then?
will see
13:39:41 to Marrakesh
Train is orange, in a cabin with 8 people.
3 from Thailand, student study Arabic...

Orange cabin with Florescent light
two luggage rails, an orange tea table
Plastic floor that is mostly clean..

Occasional mud houses, parched field, blue sky, white cloud, endless power lines. dry yellowish earth. Institutional fluorescent lighting. Plastic orange seats in the cabin that barely fit eight people.

Yellowish grass. Mirror to make the cabin look larger. Luggage racks. A yellowish field dotted with tree stumps. A busy bush of cactuses. Mud brick walls... Blue mile posts... Dirty windows... creamy clouds... Occasional shepherds... wearing hooded sweaters...
Rugged clouds with a high contrast texture...

Weather is an intermission of blue clouds and grey sky...

Trucks on a race to nowhere... sometimes the pattern was broken by a donkey cart, seemingly riding to nowhere...
16:32 marrakech train station
16:33 train from casablanca to marrakech
16:33 marrakech train station
16:35 marrakech train station
17:07 hotel amalay
Finally, a true 3 star hotel, together with Balcony.
around 350?

With aircon (but can't turn on), Sat TV, no fridge... toilet a bit broken, but room is descend enough.
17:22 hotel amalay scenery
18:08 koutoubia mosque inside
18:09 koutoubia mosque entrance
18:17Djemaa El-Fna
A mingle of food stores, spices, dry fruits, orange juice carts, slippers, brass wares, souvenirs, umbrellas, dress, watches, clothes,
Young girls selling tissues, wild kittens running around, belts dangled like dead meats, children dresses wooden slippers with assorted colors, Arab music cd, sunglasses, shoemakers, masked woman selling weaved baskets, dry nuts like dead insects, cheap wallets, strollers with tired Moroccan children, motor cycles rushing through.
I pretended to examine a wooden sandal, the eager shopkeepers greeted me in 5 different languages...
Cart pulled by bored donkey parked in the narrow pass way... modernized by occasional ATM. An ambulance aimlessly wander around.... food stalls serving unknown meats... large brass kettles,

the Plaza landmarked by two minarets....

Monkey trainers drew no crowd... the air filled with noise of heavy drums....

Oranges arranged like ..., falcon trainers telling stories... Elixir sellers...

Shuttling horse carts and blind motor bikes seemed to pass her like a phantom....

A covered alley with cheap hotels and telephone booths, money exchanges... bicycle repair shops, cell phone lairs...

Night drew in all kind of people...

Doorway decorated with fake fruit...

Prince pastry...

From ancient to now, people like to shop, I guess it's a sense of possession...
18:21 rush hour in djemaa el-fna
18:21 rush hour
18:38 souq of marrakech
18:43 medicine booth in marrakech
18:43 orange juice stance in marrakech
19:06dinner near the souq...
Tomato Omelet and sprite...
19:17 tomato omelet near djemaa el-fna
the tomato omelets I ordered looks like an old rug
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