Welcome to Tamaris II

There isn’t much information online about Tamaris II except a few testimonials from travelers and some ads for renting or buying property there. (Just a short drive away from Casablanca! Right on the beach! And cheap!)

Except that this is what the Tamaris II Camping International looks like:

My friend Nicole and I were taking a long walk along the beach around Dar Bouazza when we came across this post-apocalyptic scene. The bungalows are perched thirty feet from the beach on a little cliff which, as it turns out, was not all that sturdy. From the look of those little houses still standing, it seems that the cliff is not the only thing that’s not sturdy.

The beach is littered with old concrete staircases, the backs of some of the bungalows have gaping holes that in some cases let you see the front door…from the inside.

What’s really surprising about this little ghost town is that anyone still stays there. I say “stay” instead of “live” because it’s originally a camping ground. There is no electricity, no running water although there must have been at some point because from the beach you can see some exposed pipes.

Many of the houses facing the ocean are condemned, and covered in white tarp, but among the inside bungalows, a few look lived-in and even…cute.

There’s also a pool, a concessions kiosque, and some kind of community building in the middle. All of those have seen better days.

It seems that Tamaris II must have been quite the well-equipped vacation town/camping ground when it was built, during the protectorate according to the attendant in the parking lot a few yards away.

Today it looks like someplace straight out of a Stephen King novel, and is by far one of the coolest things I’ve seen this year.



Filed under postcolonialism

5 responses to “Welcome to Tamaris II

  1. casaboy

    Hey Kathleen, as much I enjoy your blog. it brings sadness and tears to my eyes.
    I look at your blog because I miss home and especially my home town casablanca. looking at some pictures you post brings a lot memories.
    Casa used to be a lot nicer and cleaner than that. for example, it used to have a lot of beautiful villas in Mers Sultan but now it has been gone and replaced but apartments building, they weren’t much trash around on the streets like you see today. the mindset of casawis was different back then. it was indeed an ‘european city’.
    when people ask me here in US, where are you from? I simply say Casablanca. because Is feels different from the rest of country.

    • Kathleen

      Hi Casaboy, how long have you been gone? I also get very nostalgic for Chicago, but the thing to always remember is that cities will change and will make the old-timers sad for what was and is no longer. Just think, it will be hard to imagine Casablanca of 2011 twenty years from now!
      That’s not to say that just any change is progressive, but it’s just something to keep in mind. Your city is extremely dynamic, it’s the economic engine of Morocco, the home of millions of people from all over the country and the world. That alone brings changes. There’s also a heck of a lot of property speculation, and a lot of money riding on development projects that change the face of the city. But that was also true when Casa was first being built. Think of all the things you might have seen as a kid that didn’t exist even a decade earlier…
      How often do you get to visit home?

  2. casaboy

    Hi Kathleen, well I guess you are right about the city do change with time, there’s nothing you can do about it. I just miss the old Casa. look at milan,vienna,berlin and other major european cities, they still preserving their old look /architecture heritage while still growing and expanding into new “modern look”. that’s what I was hoping for my home town.
    I chuckled a bit at “old timer” as I am only in late 30’s. to be honest with you, I feel lucky to grow up in casa, we were ahead of the rest morocco. we were not only economic engine but cultural and sport as well. we were the Bad boys :).
    regarding your question, I have been gone for a little while, about 11 years now and being back only once and that was over 6 years ago.
    the last time I was there, all my best friends were gone to either europe, canada or USA looking for better life opportunities. so somehow it didn’t feel the same.
    Allright that’s enough gibberish from me for today 🙂
    Casawi 4 life.

    • Kathleen

      So sorry I’m so late in responding to your last comment. You know, I’ve never been to Milan or Vienna so I don’t know what’s being preserved exactly. But if you look at Paris, for example, you might think that the city dates back to the 19th century. What’s preserved has to do with what, and when, people decide that architecture and art are worth preserving. Really, it’s a very old city and a lot has been erased with time.
      It must be a real trip to return after so many years to your hometown. It had to have been really disorienting!!

  3. hassan el bagra

    you should see how it was back in the day

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