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CASABLANCA, MOROCCO

I spent 1 night in luxury before heading off on a week long tour. I spent my free day at the Hassan II Mosque.

sunny 24 °C

Morocco was my 5th and last country of this trip. I arrived in Casablanca from Cairo, at 10am. I stayed at the fancy Le Lido Thalasso Resort & Spa, located beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean, overlooking the lighthouse.
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Normally this type of hotel is way out of my budget. I prefer B&Bs, or home stays. But I booked this the night before on Expedia. It was regular $626CAD, on sale for $126! That's still over my budget ... but wait ... I had a $100 Expedia voucher, so I only had to pay $26 for a $626 room!!!! Steal of a deal! However, sometimes I think Expedia makes up absurdly high rates and then 'discounts' them so people think they are getting an extra good deal. Cuz this place was nice, but not $626 nice.
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I only had a few sunny hours before it started raining. I couldn't really complain though, as this was only my 2nd day of rain in 5wks of traveling! Last year I traveled in Indonesia for a month and had 2wks of rain!
My 2nd day in Casablanca I had the morning & afternoon free before I had to meet up with my tour group, so I walked over to Hassan II Mosque. Its HUGE, so it was a lot farther of a walk than it looked, lol! It is the world's 3rd largest mosque, behind only the ones in Mecca & Medina, Saudi Arabia. I wandered along Corniche Blvd, along the waterfront where families were fishing, and finally arrived at the mosque.
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Its minaret is the world's tallest at 689ft (60 stories)! It is topped by a laser that points towards Mecca.
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It hold 105,000 worshippers - 25,000 inside the mosque hall, and another 80,000 on the mosque's outside grounds. It also has a retractable roof!
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I wish there was a person in this photo so you could understand how huge these doors are! The smaller side doors are about 3 times my height ... so you can imagine how large the middle door is!!!
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I didn't go inside. I didn't think I would be allowed to, as I'm not Muslim. But I later found out that this mosque is 1 of only 2 mosques in all of Morocco that allow non-muslims to enter.
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I spent the better part of an hour here. The architecture and mosaic details are amazing. So photogenic!
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I spent the rest of my day at the pool. Then headed over to the joining hotel where I met my group for my week long tour across Morocco. But that will all be in my next post :)

Posted by ChantelleS 17:05 Archived in Morocco Tagged architecture mosque africa morocco casablanca

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