Ending 2013 and starting 2014 in Casablanca

This New Year’s Eve, me and my mother went to Casablanca, Morocco.

The trip itself went nicely, Lisbon-Casablanca takes only 1 hour and 10 minutes. When we got there, we were rather positively impressed with our chosen hotel. Gray Boutique Hotel and Spa didn’t disappoint at first glance, the suite was exactly as it looked in the pictures online, very spacious, bathrobes, slippers and everything.

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That night we went to an amazing italian restaurant nearby, La Piazza, probably the best italian (pasta) I ever ate. After that, I sat on the couch and saw, for the first time, the classic movie Casablanca, which I loved!

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The next day we started to notice a few glitches on our “perfect” 5 stars hotel. The toilet was placed extremely high, and so were the towel hangers, the shower was not well isolated and the water leaked, almost flooding the bathroom, which was all in cement plates, which meant that the bath mat turned brown.

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The breakfast was nice enough, but laid out in a single small counter, which meant that all those delicious things were on top of each other. Then we went for a walk and went to see Hassan II MosqueAMAZING!

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With the most amazing doors, I loved it!

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After that we went for a ride around Casablanca.

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It was the last day of the year and we had NYE dinner at Rick’s Cafe, if you haven’t watched the movie Casablanca, it’s the cafe from the movie. The service was great, champagne, a lot of different entrés and even party hats (turbans for girls and fezzes for boys) were supplied. Me, being such a huge Whovian, as soon as I saw the fezzes I asked if I could get one instead, they said yes ;-).

“I wear a Fez now. Fezzes are cool!”

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Dinner was fantastic and the different styles of live music played made everything even better.

On January 1st I slept in (and it felt good) and then we went to have lunch around the beach club’s, where we saw the sea water filling in the pools… impressive. At night we finally tried out some Moroccan food: Chicken Pastilla, Tajine and Cous-Cous, at a local restaurant Al Mounia.

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Not having much to see anymore, we spent the next day visiting the “typical” Moroccan market… Morocco Mall =/.

Yesterday we came back to Portugal, after spending 1 hour in the check-in line and half an hour in the exchange bureau, we finally got to the plane (and due to overbooking, we both got upgraded to business class =D).

All and all it was a very nice trip, but I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of North Africa. The biggest letdown for me was the hotel, that was not able to keep up at a 5* standard, with small things like never making the beds the same way and doing them all wrong, or not leaving enough towels, or us having to ask for more toilet paper because they forgot to replenish, or simple not being able to give us a decent city map!