Friday, July 10, 2015
The Big Picture
Centuries-old Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and principal port, lies on the Atlantic coast of North Africa. Awaiting your discovery is a timeless blend of Arabic culture and French sophistication, as seen by the imposing administrative buildings that recall years of colonial influence. Although the spirits of Bergman and Bogart still linger in the narrow alleyways of the old Medina, this gleaming white city has a firm grasp on the 21st century.
Today, it encompasses broad palm-lined boulevards, attractive public parks and soaring high-rises. Bargain-filled souks are reminders of mysterious Africa and shopping aficionados will delight in scouring narrow alleyways for great buys in leatherwork, pottery, carved woodwork and Moroccan rugs. (from cruise website)
In the 1100s a Berber village called Anfa stood where Casablanca is today. Anfa later became a base for pirates. In 1468 the Portuguese destroyed the town. They built a new town called Casa Branca, meaning “white house” in Portuguese. In 1755 an earthquake devastated the town. A sultan, or Arab ruler, rebuilt the town in the late 1700s. The Arabs also built a port. Spanish and other European traders began using the port. The town became known by its Spanish name, Casablanca. From 1912 to 1956 Morocco was governed by France. During that time Casablanca became Morocco’s main port.[from Britannica Encyclopedia]
Be sure to watch the classic film before we leave!
What better way to experience culture than with food? If you have the time, click the link above to try recipe's for classic Moroccan dishes.