Went down to Casablanca. Was calling it close on my train out of Rabat, so I decided I'd just go straight to the platform and buy my ticket on the train. I'd forgotten you can't do that here, since they check your ticket before you even get to the platform. Of course when I went to buy my ticket there was a crowd of people trying to get on the same train, so I missed it. Caught the next train 45 minutes later. Took a taxi to the Hassan II Mosque. It was a bit anoying because the guy running the taxi stand wouldn't let me use a shared taxi, so it cost a lot more than it should of (the driver wanted 50 dh, I bargained to 25 dh, it should have cost 10 dh).
The Mosque is big. How big? "they" say it's the second largest religious monument in the world (next to Mecca); it boasts the worlds tallest minaret (210m, I think about 60 stories); 105,000 people can pray there at once; The prayer hall is big enough to hold Notre Dame or St Peter's - comfortablly; and it cost nearly a billion US dollars to build. It's the newest mosque that I've ever visited (probably by more than 500 years), it was completed in 1993. It's modern amenities include: A lazer shooting something like 25 km (miles?) towards Mecca from the top of the Minaret; a retractable roof in the prayer hall; and the marble floors are electricly heated. HAving said all that I was a little disapointed. The building is covered in magnificant craft work, inside an out, yet it comes off completely steril. It's as if they set out to build a completly modern showcase mosque, but in the process striped the warmth, grace, glory, and / or mystique that every other mosque I have visited had.
I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Casa. There is a lot of evidence of the satelyness I expected the city to have (wide, palm lined streets; elegant buildings), but it feels faded, and not in a good way. Even the stores in the Medina felt contrived and were obviously aimed at the tourists. Over all I am very happy with my decision to stay in Rabat and make Casa a day trip.