Today an album with the images from our Casablanca sight seeing tour on the last day.
A few things that really got my attention during our stay was the huge difference between rich and poor. Especially on the bab marrakech this was clearly seen and also got me (for the first time in my life a bit scared), the ban marrakech is without a doubt something you should visit but be careful, at the beginning of the market we were approached by some locals that wanted to “guide” us, we clearly said no but the “glue” was I guess too strong because one of them “chased” us for over 10 minutes, every corner we would turn there he was again, to a point where we finally said “now please stay away from us” after this we did not see him anymore. However walking there with a camera and the responses to people to taking photographs made the whole experience a bit scary, now we were probably safe but you probably know when you get those feelings that you could be robbed any moment…. well it felt like that.
The market itself was very interested because it started as a normal (although simple) market but the more you got to the insides the worse it got, no more pavement, people sitting in between rotting fish trying to sell their fruits etc. not a pretty sight, but very photogenic. We did not take too many picture there due to the fact we only had 30 minutes and we felt “chased” plus we were lost (well a bit) so we focussed more on getting out, however next time we will visit the market again but be better prepared and take our guide with us.
For us it was the first time in Africa and Morocca and I must say that Casablanca made a deep impression on us, it’s incredibly photogenic and when you love shooting older buildings and the more “poor” parts of a town this will be an amazing place to shoot. Somehow I’m always attracted to that part of the cities for me that’s where the “real” people life that drives a city.
Now a few words of caution.
Don’t even THINK FOR ONE SECOND about driving there yourself or a taxi, I’ve seen some maneuvers by the so called “petit taxis” that would be considered suicide in the Netherlands, it’s really worth the money to hire a private driver, we were lucky to be able to “loan” the personal driver from our client so we were driven through Casablanca in a comfortable van which beats the taxis anytime (they really are driving coffins).
Now when you enter the country you have to give your profession, of course we said Photographer….. not a good idea….
You can better put something there that has nothing to do with photography, I was almost interrogated at the border (both leaving and entering) if I had nothing to do with newspapers, press or whatever, so don’t even think about saying that you work for newspapers. I just said I had a studio that did family portraits and would never work for a newspaper and that opened up the doors, so be a bit careful as photographer.
Also make sure you speak French, where in other countries you can get away with English, here that’s NO option. 99% of the people we talked to did not even understand a word of English, only French or Arabic and my French…. well is not that good. So be aware of this. In the hotels the desk does speak English.