“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” – Rick Blaine.
The Moroccan city of Casablanca dates back to 1515 when the Portuguese built a settlement here comprised mainly of whitewashed houses. Casa blanca literally translates as white house, though it was actually the Spanish who named it so during the eighteenth century.
I’ve always loved the movie Casablanca. Thus the city had been on my bucket list for years. Especially as you can go and have dinner at Rick’s Cafe, a five star restaurant modelled on the eponymous bar in the movie. Looking back, it could so easily have bee kitsch. Happily though it was the exact opposite: authentic and thoroughly charming with wonderful food and fantastic service.
Rick’s is just one example of how Casablanca remains a somewhat underrated Moroccan city. Take Hassan II Mosque, for example, one of the world’s most impressive mosques.
Moreover, I loved the laid back feel of the city’s sleepy squares, dusty backstreets and cosy cafes. For a bit of vibrancy, look no further than Casablanca’s buzzing markets, particularly those in the charming Old Medina For city views, I headed to the rubbly rooftop of the decaying Casablanca Cathedral.
There’s so much more, of course, to this fascinating city. Ach, I’ve already given away too much. For the full story on my time in this delightful Moroccan metropolis, why not visit Casablanca, with my travel articles on: