Another city exploration tour for today. It was a bit surprising to us that the guide – Ahmed – was a rather old man and that he (and we) would not be able to walk the streets from 9 to 5, as we initially somehow have planned. Never mind, just go with the flow… we slightly reduced the program and were ready to go.
Ahmed explained us the cathedral nearby, the “Place des Nations Unies”, “Place Mohammed V” the Art Déco district and leaded us to a nearby market. We were bewildered to see swordfish heads, whale ribs and alive(!) turtles for sale.
Later we visited the Hassan II Mosque for a longer visit and more pictures. We were just leaving when an escort of black limousines entered the place and cleared the way for the visit of a VIP – whoever it was… maybe the king?
Next highlight was the walk through the narrow ways of the Medina, the old town of Casablanca. It was actually market stalls after market stalls, but in a rather original way – not the touristy thing with Henna tattoos, pottery and postcards, but with people selling fruits, vegetable, fish, electronics and other goods for daily usage. And like at the previous market, many unexpected items: alive little yellow chicks, alive snails… and alive chicken – which a shop owner proudly beheaded for us. But you see, it’s a place where locals do their shopping, not tourists or CSCers. Not sure if we had found the way out without Ahmed’s guidance.
We spent the afternoon with a quick lunch, siesta and some of us with Moroccan Hamam. I spent the evening with a small group in a fish restaurant with football in TV, Indie music by a DJ, tapped beer, fish Tajine and white whine.
So far, the time in Morocco was rather “touristy” than business like. But are we on vacation? Is there a reason that the CSC participants don’t have client facing meetings the first day on arrival? I think there are very good reasons for it: we will work with team members which we never collaborated with before. Being on long walks through a foreign city, encountering unexpected things, discuss about where to have dinner, have some drinks together… is there a better team building exercise than this? Great guys with great experience are close to worthless if they are not able to collaborate, just my 50 cents… . So yes, there is a reason to have some leisure activities before our client meetings – for their benefit! But tomorrow the real things start.