April 13, 2018

8 Hour Layover in Casablanca Morocco

April 2018 - Oh no not Another Layover, this time almost 8 hours in Casablanca Morocco. Now I love Layovers, this time I was so tired, I flew from Nairobi Kenya, my flight left at 7 AM, and had to be at the airport at 5 AM, last part of my 5 country travel and was returning home to Texas, Kenya, NYC, Casablanca and to Austin. I barely got any sleep as I was in a hostel in Nairobi and a family showed up at midnight and woke everyone up. One of the things about staying in a hostel that makes me not stay at hostels, its just they are cheap and a great way to meet fellow travelers.

The flight stopped in N'Djamena Chad on the way to Casablanca, I tried to get off the plane at N'Djamena Chad, was not allowed, also I would have the hassle of re-booking my flight back to Texas. So its a good thing I didn't get off, the force was with me on that one.

N'Djamena Chad

So I arrived in Casablanca and headed straight to international connections, hoping to sleep at the airport, talked to Airlines folks, I was flying Air Morocco to New York.  They Informed me since my flight was not for another 7 or so hours, I could use their transit hospitality services. So I was off to the long Visa line and after that headed to the airlines office. There I was given some kind of a voucher for a hotel and told where to catch a shuttle. Next thing I am on the shuttle and headed to a  hotel. At the hotel I ate a shitty cold meal, some of it, and after the meal was given a room to nap. It was a decent room with hot shower, after a nice shower, I was not so tired anymore, went down to to the reception, handed the keys to the room. I spoke with the reception folks and asked about a cab that would take to see the city and drop me back to the airport in time for my flight. They told me that would cost 50 Euros, this was a once in a lifetime thing and I agreed.

French: I speak french, my Cab (Taxi) driver spoke Arabic and French, no English. Having been to Marrakesh, I am glad to speak it. So if you are going to be in Morocco learn some basic French, it come handy in lot of African countries. 

Airport to the Casablanca city center is a good 45 minutes. Now this was a weekend and I didn't come across much traffic while going to the city. So I got talking to the Taxi driver, he gave me a tour of the city. He asked me if this was my first time in Morocco, I said 2nd and had visited Marrakesh, he went off and told me Casablanca was mush better and much cheaper than Marrakesh. So anyways, I was kind of busy taking photos and just nodded to him.

We drove past the

Cathedral

Quartier Habous

Old Medina




Hassan II Mosque



Its right by the ocean and the whole area is just beautiful. I walk and saw the building from outside in admiration and felt he cool ocean breeze, with the sound of the waves.

After my last stop at the Mosque, the Taxi drive offered to take me to a coffee shop, I agreed and we went to the amazing coffee shop, I had a mint tea and he had a coffee. There were men only, we sat at the outside area and I was people watching in a city which I had only seen in a movie Casablanca, ' Here's Looking At You, Kid'. That stop at the coffee shop was the best part of my layover, I like the experience of being part of the culture.

Now it was time to head back to the Airport, I was late. And we met traffic, The Cab driver didn't drive fast, he though had some skills to cut through traffic, and kept saying to me in French 'Je Roule'. And he dropped me off in time, ofcourse I tipped him 5 extra euros.

Now at the airport there were long lines for exit customs and Immigration, and I made it to the boarding gate just in time.

Leave me some comments, questions or suggestions.

3 comments :

  1. I have a love hate relationship for layovers. It's love when I can rest and have a bit of time to explore the area we're stopping in. It's hate when I'm in a layover with rules/restrictions of such area that doesn't allow people out of the airport. Anyhow, Casablanca has this dreamy kind of vibe. Do you mind asking what camera do you use for your travels?

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    1. I use different cameras for different places, since this was a stopover I used a Sony point and shoot that easily fits into my pocket.

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  2. I love how even in what appears to be a boring or frustrating experience, like a layover, that you still had the capacity to find and attempt adventure. I think that's the most important part about traveling, you can make an adventure out of everything if you simply put forth the effort.

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Questions or suggestions?