RTW Trip Essaouira to Casablanca, Morocco Day 45 and 46: My Blind Date with Casablanca

My blind date with Casablanca was unusually quiet.  I didn’t find Casablanca to be cultured, attractive, or necessarily friendly.  In fact, it was downright boring.  One friend said it was the “true” Morocco, while my other friend had her worst time in Morocco there, getting her purse snatched from a scooter driving thief as she was crossing the street.

I blame Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman for romanticizing the otherwise dull city.  Even Casablanca‘s three taglines prove that the city of Casablanca was nothing to really talk about.

Tagline 1: They had a date with fate in Casablanca! (The date just happened to be in Casablanca.  It could have been anywhere).
Tagline 2: As big and timely a picture as ever you’ve seen! You can tell by the cast it’s important! gripping! big! (The city is not even worth mentioning in this tagline).
Tagline 3: As exciting as the landing at Casablanca! (Only talks about the landing being exciting, and not the city itself).
Why did them even bother calling this film Casablanca?  Just because it sounds exotic?  It was just a big, industrial, semi-modern, and least exotic spot I saw in Morocco.  The blind date was a huge fail.
Since the accommodation costs were a bit higher in Casablanca (that is if you wanted something decent), and there really were no real sites in the city, I decided to rest up and refresh in our Ibis Hotel.  I was still traumatized from the bedbugs we had in Fes, so we treated ourselves to something a bit outside our budget.  Besides from eating out for meals, I didn’t really venture out from our hotel (I know, I know.  I should have given Casablanca a break, right?)  At Ibis, we had what I like to call the top four amenities that make a place feel luxurious: air conditioning, free and good wifi, hot water, and cable TV.  Ibis hotel was clean and simple, and had all I needed to unwind and do absolutely nothing.  I was in heaven.

We stayed 2 nights at the hotel and stopped by for some quick fast food the first night, and some lovely pasta and pizza at Restaurant Ifrane the second night.  Throw in some guilt ridden McDonald’s takeaway for one lunch, and some delicious pastries for the other lunch, and that completed all of our meals.

Delicious food at Restaurant Ifrane

Delicious food at Restaurant Ifrane

Costs for Day 45:
Luggage for Supratour 10 dirham
Bus train combo from Essaouira to Casablanca 340 dirham
Snacks of chips cookies and pastries 8 dirham
Tram from Casablanca train station to hotel 20 dirham
Dinner of chicken sandwich, viande sandwich,chips, and water 56 dirham
Ibis Hotel 626.5 dirham

Total cost: 1060.5 dirham / 2 = $58.06 per person

Day 46 costs:
8 pastries and water 23 dirham
McDonald’s 60 dirham
Restaurant Ifrane pizza spaghetti bolognaise 100 dirham
Water and Borneo cookies 9 dirham
Ibis Hotel 626.5 dirham

Total cost: 818.5 drham /2 = $44.83 per person

What I learned: To get to Casablanca from Essaouira, the more comfortable method is by taking an air conditioned bus to Marrakech, and then a train to Casablanca.  While it may seem like backtracking, you will thank yourself!

When traveling for long periods of time, do not feel guilty for having down days.  It will save you money, your sanity, and probably your health!

Actual dates of travel: Oct. 18 and 19, 2014