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A visit during Ramadan

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View Bill and Hope 2019 on HopeEakins's travel map.

Rabat’s perch on the Atlantic coast is dominated by the Kasbah, a walled neighborhood of large blue and white stucco houses, also walled. We wandered by their ancient doors, by orange juice vendors, one of whom displayed a photo of Morocco’s beloved King and his family. We looked into pottery shops, as the sea breezes blew across the landscape. Many of the winding streets in the Kasbah look scruffy, in need of paint, but that is just their public face. Inside those doors are fabulous courtyards and grand rooms.

May 7 was the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, so almost no restaurants were open. Our guide asked whether we would like to keep touring or stop for a coffee (she, of course, wouldn’t drink any) before we returned to the ship at FIVE P.M. We pretended to ponder the question and then gently said that we thought we’d like to have lunch. Lunch! ... she took out her cell phone and called around, then announced that she had found a restaurant, but it was a restaurant, not a café, so lunch would take an hour and a half. That was too long, so she suggested stopping at a little snack place on the highway back to Casablanca. We took off, and after half an hour, we pulled into the parking lot of ..... McDonald’s! The golden arches rose over a sign (in French) saying that McDonald’s cannot in any case be held responsible in case of infraction of Ramadan laws. We ate our Big Macs; the guide and driver waited outside.

Back in Casablanca we went to the Hassan II mosque. Built in 1993, it is huge – the largest mosque in Africa. The worship space holds 25,000 and another 80,000 in the surrounding plaza. We think this means 105,000 men – because the women’s gallery, surrounded by lattice, hangs 6 feet above the floor. You can see the gallery in the photo below; what you can’t see is the 200 feet of space above it, rising to a retractable, yes, retractable roof that opens to the skies. Speaking of skies, the mosque’s square minaret (almost 700 feet tall, tallest in the world) holds a laser beam that shines for 36 miles through the night skies to Mecca. A photo from the ship is below.

Finally, we can conclude that Moroccans don’t hang fuzzy dice from their rear view mirrors; they hang fuzzy fezzes.

Posted by HopeEakins 03:35 Archived in Morocco

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Love you pictures sky so blue Mosque s abit simpler than thiose we visited inUAE Scarborough is Beautiful all the trees are blooming Pink and white flowers , the leaves will greet you ,,,,, So glad you went so far for a McDonald’s The best taste ever A bit of home maybe ,,,,,,.I am studying for my Sunday school lesson Acts18 The kids will make some kind of tents LikePaul In his travels I am trying to find my pictures of my Moroccan tents Thinking of Your travels Glad your not tenting it ????

by Chloe Horton

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