Friday, 21 November 2014

Back from Holiday - Casablanca

I've downloaded the pictures, but the date thingy in my camera is set to 2008, the shots have come out all jumbled, I shall try to sort them out and post some of them.

Nearly all the washing has now been done, and there is a big lot of ironing to do!

We are back from our second cruise.  This time we traveled on the Oceana down to Casablanca, then back up stopping at Agadir, Cadiz, Lisbon and La Coruna.  The ship was super and we had so much to do.  On ship days we started our adventure into water colour painting.  Carol Hill was our tutor.

We had six lessons in all, all for the princely fee of £20 to cover the contents of a bag with paints, paper, brushes etc.  Apparently on cruises with several sea days there is usually a painting class, though we did not know that beforehand.  We learnt to mix colours, do wet on wet, wet on dry, etc

It was all good fun, and I think the last time I picked up paintbrushes and paint was when I was about 14 years old, and fell out with the old painting teacher at Rose Hill Loretto Convent.  She had known my aunt who was an artist, and kept referring to her!

Another great activity we got into was ballroom dancing.  We had double lessons on the sea day afternoons with an hour in between, then social dancing every evening.  Our teachers were Roger and Ann Sherfield, they patiently and very good humorously got us through our paces, but with the social dancing starting at 10 pm every evening, there were a few we did not attend.  Also David was only going for the foxtrot, the waltz and the rumba.  We  bought both their DVDs and last night played one of them.  It was really clear to follow and I think we now have the social foxtrot well under our belt.

On board entertainment was choc a bloc with must sees.  We saw two films:  Belle, and Philomena, went to see the onboard entertainment team several times, and String Idols, Laura Broad, Neil Georgeson, John Martin and others.  There were many others, but it is also just nice to sit and relax, read and knit, and watch the great skies.

The food was fantastic, and we realised you really could eat at just about any time!  During one of our evening meals when we were sharing a table, I was impressed to learn that P & O really do go that extra mile for people with special dietary needs.  The head of the restaurant came to visit one of our  fellow diners to discuss the meals for the following day.  She was a coeliac and explained that they have a seperate kitchen but dishes are as close as possible to what else if on offer.  And they are available throughout the various ship restaurants and eating places.

In Casablanca we booked the tour which included a visit to the Hassan II Mosque.  Its really huge and very impressive.  With low lights inside but with light coming in from the seaward side, there were a few photographic opportunities.

 The impressive tower of the Casablanca Hassan II Mosque

Washing facilities in the basement of the Mosque
Crowd control barriers
View from inside the mosque towards the sea
 Stone detail

 Outside fountain

Wonderful wall light
Marble floor detail

As a counterpoint our guide took us to the Catholic Notres Dames de Lourdes.  A plain white building on the outside does not prepare one for the impressive glass windows, which run along the two long sides of the building.  When I got up close I realised that the glass was different from traditional stained glass windows.

With its cuts and chips the light  dances through as you walk past, the type of glass is called dalle de verre.

I took some great close ups and have found some very festive ones which I shall post over Christmas.

Afterwards we visited Casablanca City Hall, I think this was the name of the time I must take a note book.  This place impressed me from the time we parked up at the side, I started taking snaps of the doors...

The detail of the cut plasterwork is amazing

 We just had a walk through of this building viewing the inner courtyards, and enjoying the details.

Outside there were numerous young kittens..mum was in the shrubbery nearby.

 We spied the equivalent of the man with a van, and also this motorcyle piled high with goods.

At the souk we saw various trades,

as well as the olive section

We did not get anything...we had large denomination euros but were warned to be careful about change.  We had hoped to get to a hole in the wall or a bank to take out some local currency, but we did not see any where we went.  I think the best bet would have to have taken euro coins or smaller denomination notes , and just asked for x worth of this and that.

And now for a few window grill details

1 comment:

  1. Oh, what a wonderful time you had! I love our cruises and think they're nothing short of the perfect holiday, especially when you can paint and dance and eat and eat and eat.... ;-)
    I'd love to go to Casablanca but someone here is not so keen. I think I'll show him your blog!