Day 260: Spoon, Jar, Jar, Spoon

3 April 2011

High point: Amazing jazz band at Ricks Café, in Casablanca

Low point: Was he dead?

Breakfast at Riad Verus can only be described as a treat; this guy really has done an amazing job with this old building. It was only after breakfast that I took a walk up the four flights of stairs to the roof, and discovered that it doesn’t actually have a roof, well not one in the traditional sense anyway.

Being a Sunday didn’t mean that the Souk in Fes would be any quieter, the hustle of the market was in full flow, people going in all directions, with the odd donkey carrying supplies, and the never ending number of cats roaming around.

As we passed a man selling an assortment of hats, one clearly stood out, a Fez, or as I’d describe it a ‘Tommy Copper hat’.  With its purchase the predictable but funny TC gags had to be thrown in. For good measure we decided to film them, the great man’s probably turning in his grave.

The assortment of what is sold, it truly amazing, and the aroma of spice is never far away, nor are the butchers shops with their produce, some dead, others alive, and as James and Amy witnessed some about to meet their fate. I think they both looked away when the knife was drawn to the bird’s neck, chickens!

It’s a pity we were not here shopping as some of the furniture, fabrics and glass is truly amazing, and with the size of the fire engine, I’m sure we could get it back home, but off we go, on the road to Casablanca.

The route to Casablanca was a mix of roads, we started on a narrow road with big potholes, you couldn’t judge how deep as they were full of water, so pot luck with the comfort of the ride.  Amy was driving  and was egged on to play chicken with the oncoming traffic, I can understand backing down against an oncoming lorry, but against a Dacia Sandero (yes they do exist, and aren’t just on top gear) is a poor show.

Once off the diversion the route was very much a Sunday drive in the British countryside with one green field after another, were we really in Africa?  Possibly not, on the outskirts of Casablanca, we were greeted by grey skies, rain, and one huge concrete tenement block after another, littered with satellite dishes, perhaps we had taken a wrong turning and gone to Russia?

It was then we realized that we didn’t have a detailed map of Casablanca and didn’t know where our hostel was, so it was down to the mix of bad French and sign language.  Steve even tried to hail a taxi, to no avail, in the end we took refuge at the local train station and awaited our contact from the hostel to collect us, 20 minutes later we were saved.  It could have been sooner, but neither Steve nor I noticed that he had been stood next to us for a while.

As we were in Casablanca, and only have a few hours this evening (before another early start) a visit to Ricks Café is a must, that and the Grand Mosque. As we drove to Ricks, there was a commotion on the road, as I looked out there clearly had been a collision, a man was laid out on the road, I hope he is ok, but the odds didn’t look good.

The mosque is shut in the evenings, so we could only view it from the outside, a spectacularly imposing building, pity we couldn’t go in, apparently it’s the largest mosque in the world that non Muslims can visit.

Ricks Café, a beautiful art deco style building from the outside, is just as it is in the movie Casablanca. It was almost like walking onto a movie set, the jazz band that was playing was amazing, but the saxophonist who was hugely talented did look like he was about to keel over at any point.

Surly not two in one day…


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2 Responses to “Day 260: Spoon, Jar, Jar, Spoon”

  1. I thoroughly enjoy reading your article.very well written do carry on.

  2. be nazar man kheyli chiz haye hkobi adorvy man az to mikhaham ke ketab tarlan ra dar safe ye aval bezary .::byby::.hatman in kar ra bekonmc::.byby