Septembre 28, 2002 – Chefchaouen – Casablanca




After some misunderstandings in Chefchaouen about the bus (the driver told me that I had an invalid ticket and that the bus was going to Rabat and not Casablanca) everything was ok after some talking. He will drive me to Rabat and then he will find me a bus for Casablanca.


In fact I chose this bus to be right on time in Casablanca to see the inside of one of the biggest mosques in the world, the main objective of the day. I have to be at the latest at 2pm for the last visit.


The journey was ok and by noon I am in Casablanca. I take a taxi for the train station to leave my bag there. Tip: If you want to leave your luggage there you have to put your unlocked bag in a big plastic bag (buy it at the newspaper booth inside the train station) and close the bag with some rubber. It is accepted!!


The number of tourists for the visit is huge we are at least 200 to buy a ticket. As French are the majority of the travelers I decide to join an English group to have explanation in a smaller group (15 persons). The price of the ticket is expensive for a mosque but it is the price to pay to see inside the building.




The mosque is so big. It was built in 1989 and looks like a cathedral but the place lacks of soul as the emptiness is the first thing you notice. But it is a normal thing as the mosque is closed apart from the prayer times. I find the mosque cold, inhuman but it is surely because it is only a tourist attraction. At the moment we are all tourists and our guides present us the building with a great amount of figures that have no sense for such a place::

Cost: 500 millions of US Dollars

Area: 200 00m2

Capacity: 25 000 persons

Minaret: 200m (lift for the muezzin)

Sunroof opening time (3 minutes) and closing time (2 minutes)

Chandeliers going down electrically…




A succession of figures far from the reality and the use of such a place. After the visit of the prayer room, the visit goes on with the ablutions room and finally the hammam. The funny aspect is that these last elements are closed at all time except when the King decides to use them. For the hammam it has been used since the opening of the monument in 1989!!! In a word, it is a visit to see the 2nd mosque in the world after the one in Mecca but nothing more.



The ablutions room and the hammam


I spend the afternoon wandering in the streets and in the souks in the medina. I even go to a supermarket to buy spices because it is the only place where you are sure of the quality pf the product and where the price is well written. The ACIMA supermarket (great idea to buy products before trekking in the mountains) is at the corner between Mohammed V boulevard and the street Mohammed Smiha (street where is located the CTM bus station).


Then I go back to the train station to take the shuttle to the airport because my flight is at 7am and I don’t want to pay the official rate for a taxi to the airport (200 DH minimum). So I will try the free hotel there: plastic benches at Mohammed V Airport.


Around midnight good surprise to see the 2 Italians they are also here to catch their plane tomorrow morning. It is really great to see them again before our departures.


Main expenses of the day :

Bus Chefchaouen – Casablanca: 65 DH

Hassan II Mosque entrance fee: 50 DH with a student card otherwise 100 DH

Night at Mohammed V Airport: 0 DH !!!

Drinks (water, soft drinks, tea…) + Lunch and evening meal: 80 DH




Other travels (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, USA...)




Useful info

(Hotels, Transportation timetables…)


D1 : Luxembourg – Paris – Casablanca

D2 : Casablanca – Rabat

D3 : Rabat – Meknes

D4 : Meknes – Volubilis – Meknes

D5 : Meknes - Fes

D6 : Fes

D7 : Merzouga

D8 : Merzouga – Tinehrir

D9 : Tinehrir – Ouarzazate – Marrakesh

D10 : Marrakesh

D11 : Marrakesh – Imlil

D12 : Imlil – Toubkal refuge

D13 : Refuge – 4167m –Tizi Ouanoums

D14 : Tizi Ouanoums – Amsouzert

D15 : Amsouzert – Azib Likemt

D16 : Azib Likemt – Tacheddirt

D17 : Tacheddirt – Imlil – Marrakesh

D18 : Marrakesh – Essaouira

D19 : Essaouira – El Jadida – Tangier

D20 : Tangier

D21 : Tangier – Chefchaouen

D22 : Chefchaouen – Casablanca

D23 : Casablanca – Paris – Luxembourg




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Last update : January 2003

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