03/04/2012 Last night in Morocco

Tomorrow my plane leaves for Spain, then the next day to Miami. I am relieved to be going home. I am tired of dirty streets, broken pavement, Muslim dress, and the overall poverty. It will be good to be back in Madrid, then back in the clean USA. I am delighted that Leslie still cares for me after my 5 month absence. That’s a long time to wait!

I have been splurging and staying at a three star hotel the last few days while getting my bike packed. I had an unusual scam my first night: A well dressed clean cut man said “Hi” as I was walking and said he worked for the Amoud hotel (where I am staying) and said he was on his break. He asked me where I was going and I said a bicycle store to find a box. He walked with me to two bicycle stores and helped me find a box.

Then he suggested we have some tea. I agreed, it seemed polite. After a while he suggested that he talk to the manager about getting me a discount on the room, because we were friends. He then told me that the hotel needed Durhams, as most people paid with Visa cards. I said OK, I have Durhams. He then said that he would give me not 8 durhams, but 9 durhams as an exchange rate. I said great. He told me the bill would be 1900 Durhams, and said I should go to the bank and get the money. A red flag went up, and I said that I had the money already in the hotel safe. He then asked me to meet him at 11:00PM when he started working again at the front desk.

I said OK. I had him write his name on a paper. I went back to my room, and happened to look at the rate sheet on the door. It said that the rate was 450DH a night. Hmmmm, that’s 1750 DH, less than his “discount.”

I went down at 11:00pm but he wasn’t there. I asked about him, and the desk clerk said no-one by that name worked there! I told the clerk the story, and he looked surprised and asked “You didn’t give him any money did you?”

That was kinda close. I imagine he was going to appear in the lobby, take the money, give me a phony receipt, then vanish. At least I got my bike box!


In Morocco, the McDonalds has a security guard. It is an upscale restaurant here, though it is no different than any stateside McDonalds. It is just so clean and organized that it feels great to be in one.

Security guard outside McDonalds in Casablance.


The beach.


Kick boxing in pajamas.


The Hussan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the country. Part of the floor is glass and offers a view down at the sea. King Hassan II declared: “I want to build this mosque on the water, because God’s throne is on the water. Therefore, the faithful who go there to pray, to praise the Creator on firm soil, can contemplate God’s sky and ocean.”

A spotlight shines in the direction of Mecca at night from the top of the minaret.




Good landscaping is so very rare in Morocco. This was the mosque landscaping.


Being an infidel and all I could not enter. Here is a picture looking in.


Like all mosques there are no images of the Creator. Instead the building is decorated with complex designs


patterns and colors.


There is a lot of ongoing construction in Casa. Here seen from the mosque.


I walked along the breakwater. It was working properly.


I’d hate to see what would happen if this team actually caught something…


Lunch anyone? (In french it means something like “The two nesting birds cafe”)


I have made a list and checked it thrice. I am determined to get home and want no complications, surprises or delays.