Casablanca. Artistic soul / Artystyczna dusza

We check into a small hotel Kon.Tiki on Allal Ben Abdellah street, which we then named a dissipation nest ;). Like no other, the area is a home for dozens of bars where alcohol is served and which are well concealed from the looks of passers by. Each 20 meters, there is a bouncer standing whose main job is to carefully select who can and who cannot enter. If there is hell in every country, then Allal Ben Abdellah must by such for a Muslim Morocco.

Anfa, as Casablanca was being called a thousand year ago,  was supposedly the most prosperous city on an Atlantic coast. First Phoenicians and then Romans had their harbor here. Today, despite city authorities efforts, it is having a hard time returning to its former glory. It does not really help that the medina, compared to one in Fez or Marrakesh is perceived as sort of a “demo version” only.

Meldujemy się w hoteliku Kon.Tiki na ulicy Allal Ben Abdellah, od tego dnia znanej nam również jako gniazdo rozpusty ;). W żadnym innym miejscu bowiem nie widzieliśmy takiego skupiska szczelnie zasłoniętych barów z alkoholem i stojących co 20 metrów na ulicy bramkarzy lustrujących dokładnie wszystkich wchodzących. Jeśli każdy kraj ma swoje piekło, to dla muzułmańskiego Maroka jest nim właśnie Allal Ben Abdellah.

Anfa jak w zamierzchłych czasach nazywano Casablancę, była ponoć najzamożniejszym miastem na wybrzeżu atlantyckim. Swój port mieli tutaj Fenicjanie, a póżniej Rzymianie. Dziś, pomimo wysiłków władz, trudno jest miastu wrócić do dawnej świetności. Nie p0maga w tym medyna, która w porównaniu do Fezu czy Marrakeszu jest taką… wersją demo.

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Despite its appearances, in comparison to other Morocco cities, medina in Casablanca might be considered as quite modern. / Wbrew pozorom, w porównianiu do innych miast Maroka, medinę w Casablance można uznać za dość nowoczesną.
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There is nothing to buy here really, unless you are looking for cheap t-shirts. ;) / Kupić się tutaj specjalnie niczego nie da, chyba, że szukacie tanich t-shirtów ;)
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Grand Mosque of the Medina / Wielki Meczet w medynie.

Nevertheless, is is worth to visit Casablanca if only for its Art Deco architecture from the times of French colonialism. Its symbol must be the hotel Lincoln, built in 1917 and designed by a French architect Hubert Bride. Or perhaps it WAS a symbol, because for 20 years the building is in decay and only from time to time is it used as a shelter by the homeless. Hotel Transatlantique has been more lucky, as it has undergone a full renovation and today, after almost 100 years it is still open for guests. Another architectural wonder you might want to see is a cinema Rialto.

Casablancę warto odwiedzić jednak dla architektury art-deco z czasów francuskiego kolonializmu. Jej symbolem jest wybudowany w 1917, zaprojektowany przez francuskiego architekta Huberta Brida, hotel Lincoln. A może raczej był, bo od ponad 20 lat stoi w ruinie i tylko czasem zamieszkiwany jest przez bezdomnych. Więcej szczęścia miał hotel Transatlantique, który doczekał się całkowitego remontu i tak jak 100 lat temu, wciąż przyjmuje gości. Jeszcze jedną perełką jest budynek kina Rialto.

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I fear it is not a place worth booking. The sc0re of 2 out of 5 stars on Trip Advisor is quite suggestive. / Obawiam się, że nie warto się tutaj zatrzymywać. Ocena dwóch gwiazdek na pięć na Trip Advisorze jest dość sugestywna.
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This is all that’s left from the hotel Lincoln. / Tylko tyle zostało z hotelu Lincoln.
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There are only blockbusters from 1940’s – 1960’s on Rialto listings. For example… “Casablanca”! / W kinie Rialto lecą same hity… z lat 40-60 naszego wieku. Na przykład… “Casablanca”!
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So this is where all the dogs have gone! / A więc to tutaj podziały się wszystkie psy!

 

You can make yourself a pleasure and have a stroll around the Parc de la Ligue Arabe, where you can also get a fresh and tasty orange juice drank from… a cup rinsed with water from a bucket ;) A Sacre Coeur cathedral rising above the palm trees is no longer a place of worship. Today, there are modern art exhibitions held here instead.

Przyjemnie jest przespacerować się jeszcze po Parku Ligi Arabskiej (Parc de la Ligue Arabe) gdzie kupić można pyszny sok ze świeżych pomarańczy z… przepłukanego w wiadrze kubka ;) Wznosząca się nad koronami palm katedra Sacre Coeur nie spełnia już funkcji religijnej. Dziś organizowane są tam wystawy sztuki współczesnej.

 

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I don’t know how visible that is, but the painting looked like a 3D image. / Nie wiem na ile jest to tutaj widocznie, ale obraz wyglądał jakby był w 3D.
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Possibly the most beautiful post office in the world, square Mohammed V / Prawdopodobnie najpiękniejsza poczta świata, plac Mohammeda V

Before I finish the post, I have a special dedication for Resa. This is a graffiti made on the occasion of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Les Lions de L’Atlas is obviously a nickname of the national team of Morocco.

Na sam koniec mam specjalną dedykację dla Resy :) Graffiti wykonane z okazji Pucharu Narodów Afryki 2012. Les Lions de L’Atlas to rzecz jasna przydomek reprezentacji Maroka.

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Leo Messi must be the most amusing figure ;) / Najbardziej rozbraja mnie Leo Messi ;)
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The Lions of Atlas were the first team from Africa to advance to the knock-out round of the World Cup. It was in 1986 with Morocco losing to RFN by 0-1. / Lwy Atlasu były pierwszą drużyną z Afryki, która awansowała do fazy pucharowej mistrzostw świata. Było to w 1986 roku, a Maroko w 1/8 finału przegrało z reprezentacją RFN.
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78 thoughts on “Casablanca. Artistic soul / Artystyczna dusza

  1. I would like to make one additional remark on this country because I very remember that in 2004 – for whatever reason – the Israel government asked all Jews from the world to settle down in Israel what I think is quite crazy. Nevertheless, the king of Morocco then asked immediately all Jewish citizens of Morocco to please stay in the country because this is their homeland where they should be. This has deeply impressed me and have not forgotten this till today.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We felt this in Morocco, the country itself is very liberal, especially for the Africa continent! Of course, it’s not true that everyone love their king, but on the other hand, Morocco is well organized and stable. No turmoil here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. :star: Thank you so much for the lovely dedication! :star:
    I do love the mural. It is totally unique! The other pictures of art are also lovely. It seems Casablanca has suffered a lot of decay, but one can definitely see remnants of a very interesting time period. Wonderful post.
    I will thank you properly with a link in one of my posts, soon. I am not posting as much before New Year, as Christmas is a hectic time here. Is your name Maciek? Or does Maciek mean something else. I got it from your “About” page. Perhaps you are just called Mr. Hirsch? LOL sorry for my poor language skills!
    Again, thank you very much for the dedication & :star: HAPPY HOLIDAYS! :star:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Resa :) I’m glad you liked it. I still remember I promised to send you some murals from Krakow. This needs to wait a bit more ;) Indeed, Casablanca lost some of its charm, I guess it still need to define itself – it’s neither Arab, neither European ;) My name is Maciek, yes. Panhirsz is my surname. Neither of them mean anything to be honest ;) Thank you for the wishes, Happy Holidays to you too and I’m looking forward to read your post :)

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  3. Don’t know why the yellow stars did not work in my last comment, so here are some other stars for you! ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fascinating city! “The painting looked like a 3D image” looked so real, Wow! I agree that is the most beautiful post office. Thank you so much for the tour! :)

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  5. Też odważyłam się na taki sok robiony “żywcem” na ulicy i nalewany do szklanki przepłukanej w wiadrze z brudną wodą. Tylko że z bambusa. I nawet to nieźle przeżyłam. W końcu podróże bez ryzyka to żadna przygoda ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dokładnie tak. My zdecydowaliśmy się na soczek ZANIM zobaczyliśmy w jaki sposób “zmywane” są naczynia… potem głupio było rezygnować ;) Sok był super smaczny!

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  6. Loved your photos from Casablanca! I went to Marocco when I was about 18, what an experience! Before that I had never travelled outside of Europe. Loved experiencing the different culture. We didn’t make it to Casablanca at that time but spent a few days in Fez.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved readying this post as I have been asked to go in a tour of Morocco next year with a one night stop over in Casablanca. Thank you so much for your post as it has given me an honest look at the city. Great photos again. I actually thought the 3D painting was a cost hanging in a frame until I read you saying it was a painting.

    Liked by 1 person

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