. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: August 24, 1998

Monday, August 24, 1998
Rabat, Morocco
Morocco's Flag

Rabat, Morocco:
Latitude: 34° 1' 2" North
Longitude: 6° 50' 3" West
Altitude: 95 feet
From Seattle: 6085 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hotel Velleda

Today's Travel:
Country: Morocco
Region: The Atlantic Coast
Route: Train: Rabat - Casa Port, Casa Port - Rabat
Start: Rabat, Morocco
Stop 1. Casablanca
End:Rabat, Morocco
Linear:112 miles
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

Fountain Hussan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Side door Hussan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Prayer Hall Hussan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Retractable roof Hussan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Ceiling section Hussan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Absolution room Hussan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 501
Linear Dist: 122783
Countries Visited: 35
Regions Visited: 142
More stats...
Hotels: 115
Friends / Family: 154
Camping: 41
Hostels: 135
Transit: 49
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 1920

Journal Entry:
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.

Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Rabat
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Morocco
CIA World Fact Book: Morocco

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