Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

 

If you immediately see Bogart and Bacall on a misty night when thinking of Casablanca, Morocco’s most modern metropolis is likely to astound you.  Here, well-preserved colonial buildings with soft lines and great detail surround the Plaza des Nations Unies (United Nations Square), Casablanca’s focal point and center, from which wide venues fan out in all directions.

Our explorations of the city covered many bases [see our previous posts on Marché Central (Central Market), La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), and Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church].  The photographs in this blog post reflect some of the local sights and culture; additional blog posts will cover the Royal Palace and “Eating Local”.

 

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) was built on the coast, directly over the Atlantic Ocean (which can be viewed below, from the lowrer level), Casablanca, Morocco

La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) was built on the coast, directly over the Atlantic Ocean (which can be viewed below, from the lowrer level), Casablanca, Morocco

 

The Casablanca lighthouse, viewed from La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

The Casablanca lighthouse, viewed from La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque), Casablanca, Morocco

 

Giant billboard photograph of the Moroccan Royal Family (the king is in the center, back row), Casablanca, Morocco

Giant billboard photograph of the Moroccan Royal Family (the king is in the center, back row), Casablanca, Morocco

 

 

Mid-morning snack along the coast at a cafe, with Moroccan pastries from local Pâtisserie La Moriciere, Casablanca, Morocco

Mid-morning snack along the coast at a cafe, with Moroccan pastries from local Pâtisserie La Moriciere, Casablanca, Morocco

 

A street in the center of Casablanca, near the Royal Palace, with a minaret at the end of the street, Casablanca, Morocco

A street in the center of Casablanca, near the Royal Palace, with a minaret at the end of the street, Casablanca, Morocco

 

The Hand of Fatima, a talisman to ward off the evil eye – door knocker on a residence in Casablanca, Morocco

The Hand of Fatima, a talisman to ward off the evil eye – door knocker on a residence in Casablanca, Morocco

 

Moroccan argan nuts – whole, shelled, halved, and sliced-roasted in the center bowls – and argan oil, creams, etc. for sale in Casablanca, Morocco

Moroccan argan nuts – whole, shelled, halved, and sliced-roasted in the center bowls – and argan oil, creams, etc. for sale in Casablanca, Morocco

 

L’huile d’argan (Moroccan argan oil) is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) that is endemic to Morocco.  In Morocco, argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta.  “Culinary argan oil (argan food oil) is used for dipping bread, on couscous, salads and similar uses.  Amlou, a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter, is produced by grinding roasted almond and argan oil using stones, mixed with honey and is used locally as a bread dip.  Various claims about the beneficial effects on health due to the consumption of argan oil have been made.  Researchers have concluded that daily consumption of argan oil is “highly likely” to be one factor that helps prevent various cancers, Cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.” – Wikipedia

 

L'huile d'argan (Moroccan argan oil) bottled here is for culinary uses; there is also un-roaseted argan oil used for cosmetics; Casablanca, Morocco

L’huile d’argan (Moroccan argan oil) bottled here is for culinary uses; there is also un-roasted argan oil used for cosmetics; Casablanca, Morocco

 

“Moroccans traditionally use un-roasted Argan oil to treat skin diseases, and as a cosmetic oil for skin and hair.  In cosmetics, Argan oil is advocated as moisturizing oil, against acne vulgaris and flaking of the skin, as well as for ‘nourishing’ the hair.  This oil has also medicinal uses against rheumatism and the healing of burns. Externally, Argan oil is used for hair as brillantine, to fortify and in the treatment of wrinkled or scaly dry skin.” – Wikipedia

 

Moroccan copper and brass houselhold and kitchenware, Casablanca, Morocco

Moroccan copper and brass household and kitchenware, Casablanca, Morocco

 

A minaret in the center of the city, adjacent to the old quarter, Casablanca, Morocco

A minaret in the center of the city, adjacent to the old quarter, Casablanca, Morocco

 

Older and contemporary buildings in the center of the city, adjacent to Plaza des Nations Unies (United Nations Square), Casablanca, Morocco

Older and contemporary buildings in the center of the city, adjacent to Plaza des Nations Unies (United Nations Square), Casablanca, Morocco

 

4 thoughts on “Casablanca, Morocco

  1. Thanks, once again, for the lovely photos. This was not my concept of Casablanca! I have heard about the enlightened royal family supporting stability in an fragile part of the world. Morrocco is on my list but now I feel through you I have seen Casablanca. Did you encounter any rough weather on your Atlantic crossing? What a delightful way to see the world. Keep sailing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Casablanca of course evokes Bogart and Bacall, but today is the modern port city and economic center of the country, where some other cities retain more of their cultural charms — Marrakesh, Rabat, etc.
      The crossing had waves of 6 to 12 feet (2 to 4 meters) with gentle rolling the whole 8 days. No one got sea sick, but everyone avoided the aerobic equipment in the gym, as it was too hard to be steady on the equipment. Even walking on the top (12th) deck was a little challenging some days in the strong winds and rolling back and forth. We were awarded certificates for completing 1.5 mile walks on the 12th deck each of the 8 days — two of the three who completed the “Atlantic Crossing Walking Challenge”! Overaall, it was wonderful to have time on the ship with no ports beckoning.

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  2. Can you find out how long that oil lasts without turning rancid? I watched women grind the nuts on stone until they were able to get the oil from the nut. Of course I had to pick some up. But after watching how labor intensive it was, I’ve been reluctant to use it – hence the question.

    Were you able to rescue any malnourished kitties on the street?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We checked the cosmetic Argan Oil that we bought and it has an “expiration” date two years later that the month we bought it — so that’s probably a minimum. For edible oil, it might be shorter (e.g., olive oil usually is good for 1.5 to 2 years, if kept in a cool location.
      There were MANY feral cats all over the city, particularly around the Central Market. Our ship has two “NOs” — no open flame (smoking, candles, BBQs, etc.) and no pets, so no kitties were rescued…

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