Casablanca, Morocco

Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca,” the 1942 film, inspired us to visit the land of Amore. The sacrifice of one’s love for another. A classic in its time, it left an impression on me. For example, when Humphrey Bogart walks into the fog and disappears.

For years, I imagined traveling to Casablanca and envisioning what it would look like and most importantly how I would feel once I got there.

It finally happened. We flew from Morocco to Casablanca. It was the eve of our anniversary and Shankar surprised me with a two-day visit to Casablanca. The hotel we stayed in was in the middle of the town. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant, a Moroccan-style restaurant. There was a belly dancer and lots of hookah smoking taking place. The next morning, we combed the beach, which was a short walk from the hotel. It was a little chilly and a bit misty. As I sat on a wooden crate, I thought about my life, my kids, my love and where we are, that brought us here on the beaches of Casablanca.

It was refreshing to just be part of the tourist traffic. While walking hand-in-hand on the beachfront, we caught a glimpse of the Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman, surrounded by white walls and the neighboring medina.

If I hadn’t see the movie Casablanca, can I honestly say I would not be on the beach at that moment? Hard to say.

Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. However, with a small medina & lots of traffic everywhere, it’s least desirable. We visited the King Hassan II Mosque, Blvd Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah. It’s the third largest mosque in the world with the tallest minaret in the world. It’s one of two mosques in Morocco that opens to non-Muslims. We also visited the Old Medina but it’s incomparable to the medina in Marrakech.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to dine at Rick’s Cafe, the recreation cafe from the movie “Casablanca.” We would revisit Casablanca when the weather is a bit warmer, given the opportunity.

 My most favorite quotes from Casablanca:

“We’ll always have Paris”, “Play it again, Sam”, “Here’s looking at you, kid”

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