a taste of Casa - the biggest city in Morocco

Casablanca street art, photographed from the tramway.

I actually wasn't expecting to like Casablanca.

It doesn't have the greatest reputation for economic justice. And it isn't a normal stop for tourists, despite the movie.  In fact, every guide book warns about the movie pretty much having nothing to do with the city, which is the economic and business capital of Morocco.

And even though most travelers from North America fly into Casablanca, most quickly leave for someplace else. Hardly any delve into the reality of Casa, as it is commonly called, which is the largest city in Morocco.

And this is where we aren't normal tourists. Because after our (amazing) sojourn in Fes, we decided not to go on the usual Saharan desert tour (which ok, I voted to do, despite some reservations about the heat and being in a car for long periods of time - and in fact, when I return to Morocco, which I plan on, I am planning on being able to go to the Sahara! But that'll be in a different season, G-d willing) and instead of heading to the seaside resorts of Essaouira or Agadir, we went the easy route, and headed to Casablanca.

Cool architecture downtown on the way to the Villes des Arts.

Casa is easily accessible by train from Fes. To get to Agadir or Essaouira we would also have needed to take the bus, from Marrakech. Which, by all accounts is not that big a deal, we just wanted something with less travel time. If it had not been Ramadan, we probably would have looked at smaller towns on the coast, but the benefit of a big city is more restaurants which are open during the day during Ramadan.

We booked our first Airbnb in Casa, and we were immediately hooked.

Remy's favorite art piece at the Villa des Arts: a panda made out of straw, by straw-k!

Yup: having an apartment to ourselves was the way for us to go. We all got a lot more downtime in our own apartment. And as I pointed out Tuesday, having a washing machine was great!

Even better was having a kitchen. Not being dependent on finding open restaurants during Ramadan in the day FTW!

We took a day of rest, to do laundry and the next two days, we spent having sort of mini-adventures. Going to the Villa des Arts and then taking the tramway to the beach at end of the line (where we didn't hear a word of English, thank goodness).

And then the next day, going back to the end of the line and walking to the Morocco Mall, where Remy went on the many rides at Adventureland and played about a thousand games of air hockey.

Lowkey adventures, the type of thing we would do if we lived there.

And that's exactly the type of travel I love best.

Eating ice cream at the beach. Thank goodness children are exempt from fasting during Ramadan! Lots of kids were getting ice cream, so we didn't feel at all weird letting Remy eat in public. 

I'm glad we got to experience riads in Marrakech and Fes, but oh, I was glad to have an Airbnb in Casa.

It felt more normal, to just see the world the way we normally would.

Not that I normally go to the mall much, but you know what I mean.

Yup, I'm really glad we went to Casablanca.