For those of you who are map lovers, here is the Google version showing the town, set on the Atlantic Ocean, and the regional road network
Interesting doorways with intricate detailing, built by craftsmen a long time ago!
We found that most of the buildings in Casablanca were at extremes; either derelict, on the point of falling down, half finished and then abandoned or very smart and new. The vehicles on the road were were of a similarly vast range; many cars seemed as much as thirty years old, often dented and missing bits of bodywork, but still running somehow; in contrast, there was also a fair quantity of new BMW's, Mercedes and Porsches amongst the traffic. Below is the sad sight of a half finished apartment building. Palm trees are everywhere! The street layout and landscaping seems to be the heritage of French governance. The state of the pavements is typical!
While here is a more upmarket version!
There were many bicycles and mopeds around, neither of which have to be licensed. The latter are a huge hazard, as they never stop at red traffic lights, so they can easily cause accidents or run pedestrians over! The traffic is a complete nightmare and we would never have considered hiring a car. There is traffic everywhere so it seems, and if one car should stop, no matter what the reason, everyone behind just leans on their hooter! There is a continual cacophony of car hooters going on, very hard on the ears! This guy below to my mind is really taking his life in his hands (or bottles!). People generally seemd to be busy and the "scavenging/recycling" trade is a popular business.
This is quite an attractive school building. Obviously they were on holiday by the look of it, all doors and windows being closed up.
As this is a Muslim country, there were very few signs of Christmas around. However, we did see this Santa's Grotto in the local shopping centre, so although Christianity is catered for, it didn't seem to be drawing the shoppers!
There were several wall paintings around, but most were peeling and in need of repair; this was one of the better preserved examples.
The hotel offered bed and breakfast only, and eating out every day was not too much of a hardship! There were plenty of restaurants to choose from, so we much enjoyed this aspect of our visit here.
Nigel had lamb kebabs; good portions in this eaterie, which was well recommended by TripAdvisor reviewers.
While I had fish. Both cooked with lots of Moroccan spices and very yummy.
I think though this was my favourite stop for coffee and ice cream, a corner cafe called Venezia Ice. It was not this quiet later in the day.
These are all ice cream cakes - beautifully made but not cheap!
More ice cream cakes, with macaroons in the front.
and another view of the ice cream cakes.
More of Casablanca to follow in part 3 - there are so many interesting and unusual sights. I promise I will get back to Charente eventually!
See also - My Life Before Charente Updated 17/01/13