My Inspiration

I find that the really good part of being "trapped" in Planet Earth, and the one that makes me want to jump!, is that we get the chance to explore the many wonders and awe striking phenomena of nature -which can sometimes really bring tears to my eyes and move me in very special transcendental ways- plus, we have the benefit of having at our disposal an immense array of human production, from architecture to gastronomy, from design to literature, every aesthetic manifestation of our great creative potential; art in its different forms can occasionally have that divine little thing that makes me feel flabbergasted, touched or even changed. I hope to share some of the "God on Earth" practical experiences that I've collected during my travels through this humble blog.

14 abr. 2011

Casablanca, Rabat & Tangier

Morocco has three mayor cosmopolitan cities: Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier. All of them are located in the north part of the country, next to the Atlantic Ocean; all of them are clearly French-influenced and have lost some of the old Moroccan Arabic traditional charm other inland cities like Marrakesh, Fès, and Meknès have preserved; but not all of them are worth visiting. The ugly duckling in this case is Tangier. It has all the downfalls of the classic border town, somehow obscure and with a gloomy atmosphere. Aesthetically speaking, it isn’t a pretty city; it is gray and has no particular points of interest. I find it an uncomfortable place to be as a tourist and wouldn´t recommend it.

On the other hand, Rabat is a pleasant, modern, quiet, easy going town, soft on the tourist, and a happy, light experience for the visitor (Morocco is generally in the intense side of travelling). It has nice streets, lovely restaurants and cafés, and plenty of attractions and interesting places to explore, including some of the most important monuments of Morocco, which I describe in the 8th article of the Moroccan series dedicated to these three cities.

Last but not least is Casablanca, the generally romanticized city that is Platonized by people around the world as the love story setting; we tend to imagine Casablanca having all the necessary elements that make it the natural scenery of the most romantic love story of all times. Well, I am sorry to disappoint, but this is not the case. Casablanca is not romantic. Casablanca is much grayer than I’d hope for, and much less green than I would expect a lovely romantic city to be. As a whole, it is not an alluring place to be in, most of us have seen concrete building agglomerations in several other countries in the world and we are not looking for that while travelling. BUT, here comes the big “but”, Casablanca has one marvelous monument, a single building that comes to its rescue and makes the stop all worth it: the beautiful most modern Mosque in the world “Mosque Hassan II”, an extraordinary piece of religious art I effusively recommend to see in person, to fully admire its magnificence and color.

Here is the 8th article of the Moroccan series "Cosmopolitan Cities of Morocco: Casablanca, Rabat & Tangier" a visual mini-guide.