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2006-07-03 09:18   我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

Casablanca (Morocco)

  If the Hollywood image of ‘Casablanca' is important to you, prepare for a shock from Casablanca. The city is further away from Oriental romanticism than any other in Morocco, and Casablanca is a modern city - and beautiful in its own respect.

  The centre of Casablanca is fairly impressive. It's brand modern, with big, lively boulevards, high, white, well-kept buildings. And it's clean and efficient. People visiting Casablanca as their first city, could easily end up hating this place: There are few things here confirming the newcomers conception on the Orient. But for people having visited other parts of Morocco first, Casablanca is good! The city is modern in a Moroccan way, and an excellent example of Moroccans capacity of taking charge of the future of their country.

  But as soon as you step out of the impressive centre of town, dark clouds cover the realities of people here. Extreme poverty and prostitution only to be matched by Tangier (丹吉尔,摩洛哥北部港市) is what you'll find without even looking for it. No other place in the country displays bigger differences between the haves and the have-nots.

  If anything in Casablanca should fit the Casablanca of Bergman and Bogart(影片《北非碟影》中的女主角英 格丽。褒曼和男主角亨弗瑞。包嘉), it should be the old city. It's small, consisting mainly of smaller houses, which all seem to be from this century, and the alleyways(小巷) dominating in other old cities, are rarely found here. There is a good market here, but look around before you buy, shop keepers here know their skills. Some thousand people live here, and in one or two spots, true beauty occurs.

  Wide boulevards

  Among the most visible aspects of Casablanca are the wide boulevards flanked by white, tall buildings. The streets run out as the leaves of a fan from the Place de Nations Unies. This place is the focal point of downtown Casablanca, and also the point where the modern town meets the medina.

  Colony white

  A walk around Casablanca will demonstrate clearly that Casablanca was the place that the French colonial authorities gave most attention. The old colonial centre of Casablanca is not small, and refreshingly beautiful. The buildings are of a French version of Arabo-Andalucian architecture, white with soft lines, and often plenty of details.

  Corners do often give away the best examples, and happily, the buildings are most of the time in very good condition. The area to explore is south of Avenue des Forces Arms Royales, but of special interest is the Place des Nations Unies, which has the largest structures. Further east and south buildings are less impressive, but equally interesting.


  Casablanca isn't really the place to go searching from shop to shop. The city has a laidback feeling to shopping, especially if you step out from the market zone of the medina. The commercial areas reminds you principally of Europe's.

  But money isn't a problem. Casablanca is one of the better places in all of Morocco to pick up something nice and different.

  Old city

  The old city of Casablanca is conveniently located - just off the main town square from where all avenues radiate, and near the sea. But as you enter, you will see that it is not all that old after all, that the houses here often have a form and size which would have made them natural elements in the “new” parts of many other Moroccan cities.

  But still, it is very nice, even if it is surprisingly small. The best parts of the old city is made up of shopping areas, where all types of products are sold, and you should not either miss out on the less visited quarters - the areas where people live - where colours and shapes and curves brings you far away from elegance of downtown Casablanca.

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