When you think of Morocco, most people immediately think of the movie Casablanca.
The movie was produced in 1942 and to this day is considered by many to be the greatest movie of all time.
Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the movie takes place in Casablanca during World War II. Most of the scenes are shot in Rick’s Café, which Bogart’s character owns. The movie is stirring, engrossing, and perplexing all at the same time. You wish the movie did not end. You want to find out what happens next to the principal characters. It is gripping.
The reality is that the entire movie was shot on movie lots in Hollywood California, not on location in Morocco. Nevertheless, the desire to see Casablanca and specifically Rick’s Café is pretty strong with the movie’s fans.
Kelsey absolutely loves the movie Casablanca. I mean she has seen it some 20+ times. She cannot get enough of it.
So, what does Kelsey do, she flies to Casablanca a few hours ahead of the rest of us. She connects with our driver/guide and rather than wait at the airport for the rest of us to arrive, she has the driver take her into the City of Casablanca to see Rick’s Café. She has to see it. She has to see it now.
Unfortunately, no more is Rick’s Café located in the midst of the medina’s windy and narrow bustling streets. Rather it is located in the newer part of the City and doesn’t quite have the feel that it does in the movie. But, for Kelsey, she is somewhat satisfied that she made the effort and got to see what is today’s “Rick’s Café”.
As if this was not enough nostalgia for one day, that night, our very first evening in Morocco, Team Peterson proceeded to watch the original movie once more.
I have a little tradition on my trips – trips organized by Peterson Sunshine Tours (PST).
On trips organized by Peterson Sunshine Tours I almost always do research ahead of the trip on the top 10 movies that capture the country, the people and the culture of where we are going. And then I set up a one-month Netflix DVD account, which permits me to checkout up to 10 DVD’s at a time.
Then I take with me a portable DVD player which connects to my laptop. I also take with me a projector, which has power that belies its size. The projector is only 5 inches by 4 inches, but it projects on a wall a huge picture. You almost think you are in a movie theater. What we do after dinner is retreat to one of our rooms to watch one of the movies that I have brought on the trip. Great fun for all.
The truth is that on this trip, my team members could not stay awake to see the movies through to the end. Yours truly was the only one who never fell asleep watching the movies on this trip to Morocco. Now, I know some of you will be in shock with this news, since I am known for falling asleep in movies. Times change.
Watching Casablanca again on our first night in Morocco hit the spot, set the stage, and provided a little drama as we embarked on our two-week travel adventure. On our last night in Morocco, we returned to Casablanca and took a group picture in front of Rick’s.
If you have not seen the movie Casablanca recently, I would highly recommend another viewing. It is arguably the greatest movie of all time.