Casablanca … day 2 (March 11, 2018)

ANOTHER great day! We woke to electrify and hot water, so nothing slowed us down this morning. We met for breakfast and then headed toward the front door. As Barb was asking directions at the main desk an expat and his wife overheard her mention she is from Florida and approached to ask where in Florida. Before we knew it we were exchanging pleasantries and they were giving us the names of their favorite bakery and rug shop. In a twinkle we were in a cab headed for the Quartier des Habous, the neighborhood where the recommended shops as well as the royal palace are located. We met Mohammad, son of the rug shop owner, right off the bat. Dan and I were not interested in anything in particular but asked to see what they had in the range of three meters by two meters thinking we could, if tempted by something unique, use it on our stone porch. You guessed it: before long we had Mohammad rolling out carpets in the alley so we could see them in natural light. Then the haggling began. We mentioned we wanted the Curtis Mathis price, meaning the price he would offer the expat who recommended his shop. Barb had read about price ranges for rugs and quickly calculated what would be fair. He said no; we went blindly along with Barb’s recommendation and held firm; he said no again. We took a short walk, discussed it, went back, and met in the middle. Dan paid $120 in U.S. and charged the rest. Two rugs in two days! We’ve Got to cut this nonsense out!

Barb casually mentioned pillows at this point. Did he sell them for a good price? Of course! One pillow at a good price later and Barb was kissing Mohammad and he was inviting us all to dinner…his treat.

From there we roamed the busy shopping streets taking pictures and enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of this very busy shopping district. It was fabulous! There were stores, stalls, horse-drawn carts, pushcarts, and makeshift stalls. It seemed to be a place for local shoppers who were out en mass doing their thing. Many were dressed in djellabas, the long one piece hooded garment considered the national dress. We did not see other tourists but they could have been there dressed a little more incognito than we were. The beautiful mounds of colorful spices caught our eye in particular as well as all sorts of items made of shinny metal we would never get around to polishing. The meat area of the market boasted goat and camel as well as the usual suspects. To draw attention to one stall the proprietor prominently displayed camel hoofs as well as the neck and head of the beast. Besides our Berber carpet and Barb’s pillow we bought and shared a few delicious pastries. We were tempted to try a drink of squeezed lemons and pressed sugar cane but were nervous our stomachs would rebel.

After a great day in Habous we took a taxi back to the hotel and freshened up before enjoying a fabulous fish dinner at Cafe Jose, a restaurant within walking distance that was recommended by the concierge. (We obviously didn’t take Mohammad up on his sweet offer of an evening out.) The menus were in French and Spanish. When my feeble attempts to translate seemed to be getting us nowhere, we all logged onto WiFi so we could use a translation app. As soon as we were ready to work our respective apps, an English speaking waiter came to our rescue.

Before calling it a day, Cyd offered to treat everyone to ice cream, so we stopped at Venezia Ice before going to the hotel and heading to bed. We all agreed it had been a fabulous day.

High of 66 / low of 55 / sunny with a soft breeze.

The elevators in our hotel are unique in that we have to press the desired floor
when we request a lift up or down. There is a bank of four elevators
labeled A, B, C, and D. Once we request a lift, a panel tells us which elevator is coming for us. We then position ourselves in front of the appropriate one and wait. When it arrives, we get on and are then committed because there are no buttons inside.

Day four for the jeans / day two for the top.

We have been warned of pickpockets so have been extra careful.

We saw lots of street cats today and two dogs.


3 thoughts on “Casablanca … day 2 (March 11, 2018)

  1. What a great day!! I loved the pictures too. Way to end the day with icecream

    Matt Mongeon | Senior Business Analyst
    PMP, ITIL Foundation, RCV, OSA, SOA, PPO
    Technology Team – Cox California
    5159 Federal Blvd., San Diego, CA 92105
    • 619.266.5675 (ex. 55675) |( 619.822.4661 | •

    Liked by 1 person

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