Friday, 12 October 2012

Casablanca Rabat Marrakech

With the clock shifted backwards another hour we could really enjoy our arrival in the harbour of Casablanca. Already before breakfast many guests were standing on the outer decks hoping to get a glimpse of the Hassan II Mosque appearing at the horizon. The harbour was buzzing with activity, many small fishing boats came back from a early morning fishing trip. Today we had the possibility to visit either Casablanca, Rabat or Marrakech. The Marrakech group will stay overnight, so from that tour we will get the report tomorrow. Casablanca is the biggest city of Morocco, with over 5 million inhabitants. It is as well Morocco's main port and is considered the economic and business center of Morocco. Rabat is political capital city of Morocco and is situated around 96 kilometer north of Casablanca. The Medina in Rabat is surrounded by wonderful 16 km long city wall. The city was founded by Almohad dynasties in the 12th century which was one of the Berber dynasties. For the guests that never have been in Morocco before it was a treat to explore the markets and look at all the colorful shoes, lamps, clothes, spices and other goods for sale. The main highlight of Casablanca is the Hassan II Mosque. The mosque is a building of superlatives. Compared to other mosques it always ranges among the first ten on Earth, depending on what you compare. Just the prayer hall measures 20.000 square meters which gives space for 25.000 prayers. The outside area of the mosque takes another 80.000. Or imagine doing your ritual cleaning before praying in a 6.000 square meter hamam.The mosque is build half above water, and the roof can be opened. So praying can be done while being connected to the water - where Gods throne is - and heaven as well. . 
The construction of the mosque took seven years with 2.500 workers on the construction site. And around 10.000 craftsmen and artists as well who worked for example on 67.000 square meters of stucco and 10.000 square meters of mosaic. Small pieces of glazed tiles in different colors form 80 different patterns in typical Arab style. Just one more figure to end with. The Minaret is 210 m high which is the highest on Earth. There are many more figures that could characterize the Hassan II Mosque but none of them is suitable to describe how startled basically everyone is how sees the mosque for the first time. The architect and the workers created a place that is in fact beyond any words and figure