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Cruise Day 22 Casablanca

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Day 81 Sunday 5 December - “Cruise Day 22 – Casablanca”

With customary efficiency the Jade arrived in the busy post of Casablanca right on schedule. The crew performed another miracle of manoeuvring and 'parked' the ship in a very constricted space. There appeared to be only inches to spare bow and stern as she swung through about 120 degrees.

We’re still subject to 'disease control protocols' and the extra effort is having an effect on the serving staff, especially in the garden cafe where the majority of meals are served. It is designed to be 'self service' and it stretches the facilities when only staff can serve the food and handle the utensils. I think they are well and truly 'over it'.

The shuttle bus took us into one of the main squares in the city and we set off to explore the 'Médina' where there are wall to wall little shops and stalls selling everything from fresh fish, eggs, vegetables, spices, dates and bread to fine leather coats, shoes and traditional clothing items. All business being conducted in narrow alleys crowded with locals and tourists.

We found our way out onto a main boulevard right near 'Rick's Place' of the movie Casablanca fame. It transpires that there wasn't ever a Rick's Place until an enterprising American established it after the release of the movie. We're told it features a piano player named Sam.

A lengthy walk brought us to the Mosque Hassan II, a magnificent 'temple' built out over the Atlantic Ocean. It is reputed to be the largest Mosque in the world and has the tallest minaret at 574 feet. The surrounding paved area could easily rival the world famous Tienanmen Square in Beijing for size. It is entirely paved in marble.

The decorations on all parts of the mosque are both colourful and intricate. The area of the mosque gives way to some impressive government offices with arched walkways and beautifully maintained gardens.

On our way back to the shuttle pick-up we again experienced the crowded lane ways of the 'Médina' where the increasing numbers of shoppers vied for space with taxis, scooters, push carts and in one case a shopping trolley being used to 'move' a sizable cupboard. In one of the wider streets, kids played soccer almost oblivious to the vehicles demanding a share of the roadway.

One of the 'streets' was lined on one side by dozens of jewellery shops selling exquisite works of art in gold, silver and precious stones. Many of them were just opening for business despite it being past noon. We'd remarked on how relaxed the place was when we first arrived at 9:30, it had certainly come alive while we enjoyed the tranquillity of the Mosque.

Back at the ship we had a quiet lunch and then rested our weary feet. Despite a valiant attempt to read a book we both dozed off and next thing it was time for dinner and the show in the Stardust. Four Spanish male vocalists with quite different voices which harmonised well to take us through a repertoire of songs in both Spanish and English. Watch out for the group “Fourever”, they've recently released their first album in London.

Back at the 'stateroom' there is a plate of tit-bits in recognition of our newly acquired VIP status.

Oh, must tell you of a little incident on deck. We started talking to two ladies very obviously from the USA. One of them asked the number one question: “Where are you from?”. Quick as a flash and with a dead-pan face Jenny replied “Texas!”. The look on their faces was priceless as they tried to process that bit of information.

The ship is a bit lively at the moment, we are experiencing moderate seas and gale force winds. Out to the West there's a spectacular light show from some thunder storms over the horizon. I expect the sick-bags will be out again in the morning.

Posted by greynomadm 14:02 Archived in Morocco

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Hey Dad,

There is obviously a disease on board - mum's caught it and is now making jokes!!!! Would have loved to have seen their faces.

Nice to see they're giving you the VIP treatment. Those extra touches are wonderful.

You must be getting sick of ships by now surely?

Love from all of us.

by DrTard

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