What to see in El Jadida, Morocco

Vinsky Forum

My journey to Morocco began long before the end of December 12th year when I finally set foot on African soil for the first time. Back in the late summer of ’11 I wrote a resignation letter for the purpose of traveling by bicycle from St. Petersburg to Casablanca. However, at that time, because of an injury in Normandy, I was not able to fulfill my goal.

In summer having met my friend Lesha in Odessa, who had been living in Madrid for 6 years already, it was decided to spend the New Year on Spanish soil, and since Spain and Morocco are separated only by a small strait, the arrival in this wonderful Arab country was inevitable.

Tickets to the airport of Mohamed V in Casablanca were bought a couple of months before the flight and cost 163 euros. We flew with Iberia. S7 Priority claimed they wouldn’t pay any miles for the flight, but in fact they transferred some “kopecks”.

Iberia surprised me, there was only paid food and water on the plane. I didn’t really want to eat or drink, but to be honest I didn’t expect it. Apparently easyJET lured all the customers, so they try to compete.

Arrival in Casablanca

After passing through passport control, having bought a local SIM card (Maroc Telecom – costs 100 local pessos, it’s about 9 euros. The whole amount on the account) came down to the train station. Having found out that the train cost 40 dhigrams per person we decided that the four of us could take a cab, blessing the price was announced on the board near the cab drivers parking.

The initial plan was to go to Casablanca for the sightseeing of the city and the mosque of Hassan II and in the evening to take the train to Jadida, which was 100 km away from Casa.

Approaching the first cab in the queue we asked – center 250? In response we heard something like – Yes, dear, sit down, I will take you quickly, like a racket. We asked again. The Arab hesitated for a long time and then he had this dialogue:

– “Stop, stop, stop. Once again – 250 dhigrams to the center? All right? – Yes, my dear, that’s right! 300 dhirahs from you, 300 dhirahs from him, 300 dhirahs from him and 300 dhirahs from him!

As if I sensed the driver was dirty, I told my friends not to put the bags in the trunk. They got out of the cab right away. Of course they surrounded us. We told them to fuck off by pointing to the billboard where the rates are to any point. The official ones. We go away in the direction of the station, they call us back – and they say – it’s OK for 250, but it’s already another one. All right, we wait. The hot Arab cab drivers start a fight, apparently over us. Either somebody cut in line or the cab driver broke the honor code. We call my classmate Yunes, who we go to Jadida to see, and his first phrase is: “Why the fuck did you go to the cab drivers? We should take the train.

We go back to the station, through the airport, but there’s an ambush. Where the exit, there are policemen and do not let anyone in – they say there is only the exit – and the entrance is where the frame. And of course where the queue for 30 minutes.

Well, okay go to the queue, and we cut across a police officer and 7 cab drivers. Here we are.

Can I see your documents? What do you need it for? Just to see. What for? Just to see.

And the problem is that we don’t know whether it’s a police officer or a vigilante, fetched by cab drivers. In general, first we chased away all the cab drivers. Then they took our cop to the other cops – they (in regular blue uniforms, not like this one in the demobee guise) said he was a real cop. We showed our passports and he took our names (only I and Lesha from Madrid showed them – the others were not asked). After that, he took us to the entrance to the airport showed where the queue and wished us a happy journey by train. In about 10 minutes he came back and shook hands with everybody and apologized again for the incident. As we understood the cab driver had violated the local code and his colleagues told the police.

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So we went to the station and bought tickets with the help of a ticket machine and a charming employee of the local railroad. Lyosha asked her to marry him and put her in a very awkward situation. But about Arabian customs, see below.

We didn’t want to go to Kasa by ourselves and so we immediately went to Jadida with the change to Kasa Voyager. We got a bit lost, though the conductor warned us. We should have got off at the Casa Voyager to change trains, so we had to wait 2 hours for the next one.

A little bit stunned by such a start, everyone was waiting to meet Younes, as a savior. And in the night after getting off the train, I was insanely happy to see my classmate, with whom I had smoked more than a dozen hookahs and written more than one textbook. And the latter usually included the former.

The mountain fell off my shoulders, but as soon as we stepped out of the station building we found out the following. There is no public transportation as a class in Jadida. It is successfully replaced by cab drivers. The price around the city is 8 dhigrams, from the train station to the center is 10. Needless to say they will come as soon as they are full. There are two types of cabs – a tattered death capsule for three passengers, or a Renault Logan for four. You need to split up, someone will go with Younes, and someone will be in the second cab. There’s no need to explain that there were more people willing to go with Younes than the cab can hold.

In the end, having put two guys in the death capsule, and those with a Tele2 SIM card not working in Morocco, Lesha and I got in the same cart with the landlord.

After having told him about our misfortunes we were assured that the territory of Morocco was a better paradise and security than Batka’s in Minsk, and all the criminogenic elements were in the cab drivers parking in the Casablanca airport and around Paris.

While I was listening to a lecture on safety in Morocco, Lesha pushed me in the side and suggested we turn around, behind us there was a street fight between three locals, and I turned around at the climax of a great right hook.

Younes told us to ignore it.

In the meantime, we were moving through the chaotic, chaotic movement of the Jadida streets, reminiscent in some ways of the capital of India. The same chaos. Under Hassan II there was order in the country, but there were no infrastructure projects; now great investments have come to Morocco. The young engineer gets 1000-1500 dollars, and if he also works at a phosphate plant, he gets all sorts of benefits, which the party nomenclature of the USSR could not even dream of. All this is compensated by 40% illiteracy in the country. Here and below I am quoting the facts about Morocco from Yunes’s words, they are not the final truth, but give a more or less objective look at the country from a man who has lived 7 years in St. Petersburg and a year in France and who loves his homeland, as well as respecting Putin and Stalin In general Morocco reminded me of us in the early 2000s. Money is beginning to appear, but the consequences of the terrible fifteen years are already making themselves felt. When we arrived in the center we saw our friends, who were so happy to see us, as if they had not waited for our meeting. Frankly speaking I didn’t understand until the last moment whether Younes was joking or not, when he said that he had asked the cab driver to drive them to Sahara.

Arctic Spitsbergen

We settled in the center, just as on Deribasovskaya Street next to McDonald’s, or on the Palace in the General Staff building. Again, the proximity to the center, and three rooms with a satellite dish with a fee of 400 dhim per night compensated for the lack of bed linen, white stains on the beds, jokes about bugs and anal drills, as well as the excellent hearing (in my room) calls of the Imam to the morning prayer. The experience is unspeakable. It was as if you were in the Abode of Evil, where the whole city is extinct and only a terrible monster is screaming somewhere on the outskirts of the city. During the day the call of the Imam is just an interesting feature of the Arab world, which does not arouse any hostile or even suspicious feelings.

Evening of the first day

Dropping our things we went for a walk in the evening. The first thing we did was to eat. When I saw the prices were three times lower than in Madrid, and two times lower than in St. Petersburg, I was overcome by an attack of greed. Of course, we ordered so much food that we could eat only half of it. Morocco is a country of seafood and fish. Immediately I tried the pasta with them. God, it was wonderful.

Having refreshed, we took the rest of food home and hit the road again, through the night city. I will skip ahead and tell you a little about the people, order and traditions of the Muslim world in the light version of Islam in Morocco.

Islam in Morocco.

Forget everything that television has foisted on you. Morocco is a secular state. They have no friction with other religions, much less between Sunnis and Shiites within the country. Very few women wear the burqa, only a few cover their face. There was no discomfort with the difference in religions between us and the locals. Moreover, it is indicative of the presence of a Christian temple on the territory of El Jadida fortress. It was the fortress where the city began. Alcohol is haram. But more about that below.

We did not feel threatened by the locals. The beggars pestered us, but only because we are tourists, as we once ran out at us sellers of cooked fish, but again, it is not customary here, and the run-ins were stiffly put on Younes.

I love this country. On the second day Younes couldn’t stand it, he said that he suspected I had Jewish roots. He was probably right, because I do have 1/16 of my Odessa blood in me. At the bazaar (locally called SUC), in the souvenir shop and other outlets where there is no price, trade is the main amusement. Playing out scenes with the departure, with the indication of neighboring sellers are ready to give the goods cheaper and the general world price tags managed to bring down the price by 2 times. The price that was announced not to us tourists, but to Younes the local resident.

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Here you can say for a long time Younes is a very attractive young man. “Poretuvshy” in St. Petersburg during his exuberant youth on one dozen girls As far as the female sex is concerned, he is an unshakable authority. So let’s begin: Sex before marriage is an extremely rare phenomenon. Marriage prefers to take only virgins. And very often a woman and a man meet for up to a year before they agree to get married and then. Often men take advantage of this, because to promise does not mean marriage, and then as we know – men like eyes and women ears, so women paint and men lie. In general, expect quick sex here is not necessary, but there is paid love, the truth is to seek it in a cafe among the girls persistently sending you unambiguous signals. The prices are rumored to be a little higher than the Thai – 20 euros, but the chance to run into a transformer as you understand there is no. But that is not the point. Yunes, a sly one, fooling around with our beauties in the last year of study, found a beauty from Rabat, and will marry her as soon as the apartment and car – without that no one will give the go-ahead for a wedding here. His sister strictly observed the letter of the Karan and wore a hijab, leaving only her eyes open, and when her future husband met her in a pharmacy, where she worked, and offered to meet, he was sent to his parents, and only after six months of dating was the wedding.

Yunes, on the other hand, makes pretty good money by local standards, and he’s a good-looking guy. At work there’s no shortage of girls. At 25, they start to feel bad that they don’t have a husband and pester men quite openly. At work, coming for some far-fetched question in a miniskirt they try to rub up against a guy and so on. The sexual harazment of feminists probably looks like this.

The road for pedestrians was given up less often than in the city on the Neva. The apotheosis was a phrase of Younes at the end of the trip – here’s bastards, I’ve never been let through on the crosswalk so often, as in your company. I told him a joke about my favorite movie: Vasily Ivanovich and Petka. Why that one? Well, remember the phrase – let’s kill all the white men, and then we will get on with life In the city there are many police officers, they pose no threat to tourists, and their very existence and patrolling is aimed precisely at helping tourists. At night it is safe to walk around the center and the waterfront.

The evening was coming to an end and I wanted to finally smoke the real Moroccan. No, not hashish. hookah. But here’s a new disaster – the city is checked and all the canals are closed. However, on the coast by smell found something right, Younes left to negotiate, returning called us inside the cafe. This is how my first day in Morocco went.

The second day began with the Imam’s call to prayer. At 6 a.m., I ignored it, and waiting for our guide, we set out to spend the morning in the traditional way. We bought some goodies covered in bees at a candy store and headed for the seashore. The coastal cafes sell drinks such as delicious mint tea, divine coffee or freshly squeezed orange juice. I took all Our nibbles were warmed up and cut up and brought along with the drinks. The entire coast is dotted with locals playing soccer. We were rooting for the blue and whites, Younes was telling us the structure of his country and why they don’t like the Turks. I realized then, on the beach, that the Arab world was a whole planet, about which I, a man who had communicated much during my university years with Younes and his friends from Syria, Tunisia and Egypt, knew no more than a typical American knows about Russia (bears, ushankas, matryoshki, vodka and nuclear missiles). After a leisurely morning tea party we went to the market. It was wonderful I will not bore you with stories about shopping, I will only say that the three of us bought national robes, which I am now writing my report. Walking around the city in them, I felt like a top model in a miniskirt – we all looked at and smiled. Then Younes took us out to eat sardines. It was divine. A couple of hours ago, this fish was splashing in the sea nearby, and now it’s just cooked and lying on my plate. The 5 most delicious fish in my life cost 50 dhim. Next was a tour of the fortress and trading for souvenirs. There are almost no souvenirs with Jadida. After walking around the city we met our friend Younes and went to look for a disco. The only adequate place was in IBIS, but it cost 200 dhihrams – very expensive by local standards. And attentive readers will remember the prices of the ladies of love in the city and will agree that it was stupid, at the very least, to spend such an amount. We went to a restaurant-bar. Fouett, Yunes’s friend, didn’t believe to the last that my classmate would drink beer If they had known what I knew about Yunes’s youth, they wouldn’t have let him back to Morocco.

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Perhaps the strong influence of religion, on attitudes toward alcohol, makes it so safe to walk around Jadida at night. The evening pastime of most locals is drinking tea and smoking hookah. Aggression does not come from anywhere, although we may think that their conversations, and especially arguments, require every other person to sign up for anger management courses.

The next morning we consolidated what we had learned by watching the morning soccer game over a cup of tea and slowly headed to the train station. The first class ticket cost 50 dhigrams and in an hour and a half we were again in Casablanca. Casablanca is not Morocco. It is a business center, nothing more. After seeing it and not getting into visiting hours for tourists at the mosque of Hassan the Second, we went to sleep it off at IBIS which is near the Casa Voyager station. A perfect place if you have to go to the airport in the morning.

There is no electronic checkout at Casa. After filling out the exit forms, we went to the border control. My friends were joking with me and Lesha for a long time – the situation at the booth with a customs officer. Where are you guys going? You have a trial in January!

But everything went smoothly, the incident with the cab drivers was in the past, and ahead was the dyutik, the flight to Madrid and a six-hour rally to Barcelona to meet the new year, to which we were still a couple of minutes late and met him in the underground parking near the Rumba square. But that’s another story.

I will try to add pics soon, as well as correct grammatical errors.

If not this year, then next year I will definitely go back to Morocco and in a few cars with our international crowd we will go to see the country completely for three weeks. I wish you all the same.

StikMaH Visitor Posts: 1623 Photo: 57 Registration: 29/08/2012 City: St Petersburg Thanked (a): 63 times. Thanked: 164 times. Age: 35 Countries: 37 Reports: 5 Gender: Male

El Jadida

El Jadida

Every year, lovers of beach recreation and water sports head for the Atlantic coast, or more precisely to the port city of Morocco – El Jadida. All conditions have been created here to ensure that recreation is not only fun, but also cultural and sporting.

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In the XV century some areas of Morocco came under the protectorate of Portugal, including the town of El Jadida. In order to protect the land from the locals, the Portuguese decided to build a fortress, which they controlled until 1769. In the 18th century, the Moroccan Sultan Mohammed Abdallah took control of the fortress. The city of El Jadida regained its modern name in 1956, as it was called Mazagan when it was under the rule of the French colonists.

The main attraction of El Jadida is the Portuguese fortress Mazagan. From here you can admire a breathtaking view of the coast, as well as get acquainted with the features of this ancient structure. The fortress consists of four well-preserved bastions:

  • Angel Bastion to the east;
  • Saint Sebastian Bastion to the north;
  • Saint Antoine bastion to the west;
  • The Holy Ghost Bastion to the south.

While traveling around El Jadida, be sure to see another landmark, the ancient cistern, which used to be used as the city’s water reservoir. You can also check out the Grand Mosque and the Church of the Annunciation in the city center.

Walls Old Town Angel's Bastion
Church of the Assumption Church Inside Cistern with a well

Shopping and Entertainment

Shoppers will appreciate the large number of souvenirs and local handicrafts available at the El Jadida Market in the city. It is located near the Portuguese fortress of Mazagan. To buy clothes and gifts for family and friends you can go to the shopping center Centre Marhaba.

The main advantage of the port city of El Jadida is a wide variety of sports centers for lovers of outdoor activities, including:

  • El Jadida Nautical Association yacht club;
  • Radikal Surf sports center, where instructors teach travelers how to work with their equipment;
  • Deauville Plage beach, which has a state-of-the-art beach soccer court;
  • Royal Golf and Mazagan Golf Club.

If you come to El Jadida to relax on the Atlantic coast, then go straight to the central beach or the beaches of Sidi Bouzid and Sidi Kouafi. Here you can not only swim and sunbathe, but also ride catamarans, scooters, canoes and kayaks. In the evening go to one of the nightclubs in El Jadida – Alias Club, Club House du DHJ, L’Horizon Bar or Palm Tree Nightclub.

Hotels and Restaurants in El Jadida

El Jadida has a developed infrastructure, which allows you to relax in comfort and even in luxury. Some of the best hotels in Morocco in this port city are considered Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf and Riad La Villa. There are luxury rooms with windows overlooking the Atlantic coast. The hotels have golf courses, swimming pools and spas. The air-conditioned rooms include a stereo system, plasma TV, and free Wi-Fi.

In addition, you can also stay at the following hotels in El Jadida:

  • Ibis budget El Jadida;
  • Dar Al Manar;
  • Dar El Jadida.

El Jadida boasts a variety of cozy restaurants serving the best of international cuisine. If you are a fan of French or Mediterranean cuisine, then go to Le Privé Restaurant or Ali Baba. Seafood lovers should book a table at El Bahri restaurant, but if you want Moroccan cuisine, go to La Grillardiere.

Ibis Budget Hotel El Jadida Hotel Riad La Villa & Spa Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf Spa Hotel
La Grillardiere Restaurant Ali Baba Restaurant El Bahri Restaurant

How to get there?

To get to El Jadida you can fly to the nearest airports in Agadir, Rabat, or Casablanca. From there you can take a bus which will bring you to El Jadida, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, in one and a half hours. This city has a temperate climate: it reaches +12°C in winter and +24°C in summer, so it’s best to come here during the summer months.

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