Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city on the Atlantic Coast – Bordering on the Atlantic Ocean, in the central west part of Morocco is one of the world’s largest artificial ports, Port Casablanca. It is the Morocco’s largest city and most definitely a place as well as a film, but most people may know the 1942 film better. Kathy Kriger was such a fan of the movie Casablanca she decided to open a restaurant in the city. Rick’s Cafe is one of the most visited places there along with the dramatic Hassan II Mosque with its 210m high minaret with lasers pointed towards Mecca. The mosque, designed by French architect Michel Pinseau for the King’s birthday, stands partly over the water and is one of the many must see places. The name for this city back around 7BC was Anfa, a Berber name. The Portuguese renamed it Casa Branca in the 15th Century but the mix of styles and architecture are endless from its French colonial legacy to its downtown Mauresque architecture, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco. Casablanca’s New Medina or Habous Quarter (Quartier Habous) in the southeastern part of the city, was laid out in the 1920s by the French. It is a hustling, bustling, atmospheric area with tree-lined squares, many interesting alleyways, souks and arcades. This is an area you could spend a day in alone. It also has a Jewish museum.

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Fred Olsen lists Morocco as a destination, and often list Casablanca under the title Mysterious Morocco, or Sun Souks and Siestas. Cities of Spain & Portugal Departs Newcastle  •  02nd September 2018  •  14 nights  Balmoral  •  L1829  •  Prices from £1,699 (cruise only)

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