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16th January, 2013

Casablanca, Morocco

The passage along the Moroccan coast proved to be very pleasant with even the normally persistent Atlantic swell taking the night off!

Casablanca is home to Morocco’s main port which, in all honesty, is quite industrial and not very appeasing to the eye. But further away from the port, and up into the North of the city, some of Casablanca’s most famous sights can be seen. This is where many of the passengers spent their day out on excursions.

One of these sights is the King Hassan II Mosque, which took approximately five years to build and is the world’s second largest mosque. It has room for around 100,000 worshipers and is the third largest religious building in the world. It is also one of the few mosques in Morocco that is open to non-Muslims. It contains intricate mosaics, stone and marble floors, sculpted plaster mouldings and carved and painted wooden ceilings. Definitely a sight not to be missed!

Casablanca’s medina, which is the old walled part of town, contains high end boutiques and beautifully restored French colonial buildings, offering a high contrast to its urban sprawl nearer
the port.

However, there are many places to pick up authentic arts and crafts for a good price but haggling is compulsory like in most of North Africa. No doubt this colourful complication to retail therapy will have offered our passengers plentiful stories to tell their friends and family back home!

The medina also hosts the oceanfront area of Corniche, with its beaches, boulevards, hotels and cafes. Also accessible at low tide is the shrine of Sidi Abderrahman, which is built on a rock offshore. This is however sadly off limits to non-Muslims.

Having welcomed back our passengers that spent the night in Marrakesh on the overland tour and accounting for everyone else, the Sapphire sailed just after sunset, departing the African continent and steering a course back towards mainland Europe.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.