After that crappy ordeal of flying Jet4You, we rode a taxi into Casablanca and arrived at Hotel Kizmi Basra around 1:30 Moroccan time. The staff was very friendly, the hotel was beautiful and comfortable, and the price was great for a 4 star hotel: 68 euros! It's also in a nice location, close to the Medina and the Marche Central. A relief after disappointment.
In the morning (we only had a morning left in Casa after the lost evening hours), we took a tour of the Hassan II Mosque, the third largest mosque in the Islamic world and one of a very few that allows non-Muslims to visit. It was absolutely stunning. It can hold 25,000 worshipers at once. It is constructed of all Moroccan materials—wood, marble, granite, glass, etc.--except for the chandeliers of Murano glass. It's an architectural and artistic wonder, with amazing woodwork, tilework, stucco carving, etc. I can't really describe how beautiful it is, and how awe inspiring the work of those Moroccan artisans. It was amazing.
Under the mosque is the ablution room, where the worshipers go to wash before prayer. The room is so cool, not only for the fountains which spew water for cleaning, but more (for me) for the columns made of a mixture of materials which absorbs the moisture in the air, preventing the brass light fixtures from ever oxidizing. So cool.
There's also a Turkish bath, not yet open to use, but which will be open even to non-Muslims soon. Incredible.
Post-tour and picture-taking extravaganza, we walked around the Marche Centrale, where lots of vendors of all types of food (I saw a box of live turtles!) congregate to sell their wares to the locals. It's a frenzy of colors and smells and textures. Each vendor also seems to have a stray cat associated with his niche, which we found to be the case all over Morocco.
Across from the market, we ate traditional Moroccan food for lunch at L'Etoile Centrale. The place is beautiful, with carved stucco and beautiful tile work. The guidebook noted that it is rarely busy, though it should be, and I agree. We were the only customers, and the guy seemed to shower attention on us (we left him a hefty tip). Darick had a lamb tagine and I ate the recommended couscous royale, and both of our meals were delicious.