Saturday, May 16, 2009

Marrakech Express

Marrakech is the final destination for the day but on the way we go through Casablanca. It is the biggest port in North Africa. However, it is nothing like the movie depicts it to be. In actuality, the movie wasn't even filmed in Casablanca. It is really not a very pretty city at all. We did however stop in Casablanca to visit the new Hassan II mosque.
The mosque was built overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and was opened in 1993 on the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad. It is the 3rd largest mosque in the world. More than 100,000 people can pray at the same time at the mosque (20,000 inside and 80,000 worshippers outside on a special platform). It is the only mosque in the country that permits visitors.

We took the tour and it really was breathtaking. The detail that went into making the mosque was amazing. This was one of my favorite memories of the trip. Here are some pictures of the interior...

The women pray in the balcony and the men pray on the main floor.

This was my favorite room in the mosque. It was full of fountains that the men use to do their ritual bathing before praying. All the fountains looked like little mushrooms.

There's Bill in the background. He seems to always find his way into pictures of Mike and me.

This was an example of a public bath. It was in the mosque but was not actually used.

Yes, there was a Harley dealership in Casablanca!! We stopped there then had lunch. It was a delicious lunch. There was nothing else interesting the entire day. We had to take the highway into Marrakech. It was hot as heck on the ride down the highway and we were glad to make it to the hotel.


reiggin said...

Now I have that CSN song stuck in my head.

Cool pics!

Annette said...

What a mosque! Reminds me of some cathedrals I saw in Europe, minus the stained glass windows, pews and statues
Welcome back home.