June 26, 2013

Casablanca

Oh, Casablanca. Rationally, I knew that Humphrey Bogart wouldn't be walking the streets of Morocco, but I was hoping that this city would have a bit more of a romantic feel. In truth, it's a modern city that is both seedy and beautiful, and I had to keep in mind that this it probably represented the "real" urban Morocco. Tourism isn't a major part of Casablanca, and at times I felt as though the city didn't care about us. I wanted to be wooed, and I wanted Humphrey Bogart.

Since life can't be a romantic black-and-white film, however, the hubs and I went for the next best thing and created our own fun. Casablanca is home to a gigantic mosque on the sea, and the sight of such a beautiful structure arching upwards into the sky was breathtaking. I was so disappointed not to be able to go inside, as we missed the visiting hours, but if the exterior is any indication, this place is simply gorgeous. 








After oohing and aahing for a while, the hubs and I embarked on a massive walking tour of the city. We walked for hours, admiring the beautiful and faded architecture. I would have loved to see this city in the 1920s, and it was easy to let my imagination run wild as we looked up at the buildings.





My favorite part, however, was a market area that was closing up shop for the day. Most of the vendors were gone or gathered in crowds watching the end of a soccer match, and as the hubs and I walked past the empty stalls, it felt at times that the only other souls there were the stray cats who had made their home beside the vegetable crates. I can't quite describe why I loved it here so much, but it stirred something inside of me. Maybe we were seeing something that wasn't quite meant for us, but it beckoned all the same. It was as though time had frozen for a moment, and though it was still, I could feel the rush of people running around just hours before and nearly hear the voices calling out to one another. The phantom market pulsed with abandoned life, and we were hushed visitors catching the final glimpses of its secrets before the gates were locked for the night.






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