I spent 1 night in luxury before heading off on a week long tour. I spent my free day at the Hassan II Mosque.
14.11.2014 - 15.08.2015 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.
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.
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.
Its minaret is the world's tallest at 689ft (60 stories)! It is topped by a laser that points towards Mecca.
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!
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!!!
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.
I spent the better part of an hour here. The architecture and mosaic details are amazing. So photogenic!
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