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A New Adventure on a New Continent

MOROCCO | Friday, 24 January 2020 | Views [243]

Where to start? We took a break from blogging for over a year. Many adventures to be sure, but we really needed to focus on ourselves, enjoy our time and communicate less with social media, etc.


Well, the time has come, we are back to our adventures! Morocco!


We booked tickets months ago; fairly cheap $700; Ottawa to Montreal to Casablanca. Montreal Air Canada lounge is great! I would venture to say it’s the best, at least in Canada. The flight was fairly uneventful, we got some sleep, but with a 7 hour flight and 3 meal/drink services, you don’t get much time. 


We landed right on time, 0800, cleared customs, got a SIM card (10€ for 10 gig, awesome!) and exchanged some cash we brought (USD, we read they didn’t exchange CDN $, but they do) and made our way to the train. Our hotel offered to pick us up for 30€ but that sounded steep (but would have been worth it if time was short). We bought our tickets to Casa Port, not far from our apartment (50 dirhams or about $8 CDN each). 50 minute wait for the next train, however.


The train was great! It is comfortable, clean, smooth and it felt authentic compared to being whisked away in a taxi. Seeing the countryside and rubbing shoulders with other travellers is always entertaining.


We made it to Casa Port (Port of Casablanca) and bought our tickets for Sunday’s travel to Marrakech (150 dirhams or about $22 CDN each for first class). We were going to take a taxi to our apartment, but we both just felt like walking a bit; our bags were fairly light but it looked like rain.


About 2 minutes into the walk it started to rain; no big deal, we were loving the 15 degrees, even a bit wet. That being said, we were in t-shirts and the locals were in puffy winter jackets. Construction pushed us off the main road into the old Medina, a narrow cobblestone stone maze of alleyways and “streets”. 


Most of the Medina could only accommodate a small motorcycle or hand carts. It was surreal to say the least. People we going about their business on the Muslim sabbath, buying fresh fruit, vegetable and fresh meat; when I say fresh, I mean the chickens were alive and butchered to order (smelly, but really amazing spectacle). Fresh goat was hanging from hooks on random corners that apparently were souks (shops). It was incredible!


Getting lost in the old Medina while carrying our packs was definitely not the plan. Nor was getting soaked by the rain in the process. I wouldn’t change it for the world, it was very unnerving but cool! Google maps was useless in the narrow alleys and tall building and it was good old fashion kindness of the locals that helped us navigate out of the maze. In fairness, we only went in circles a couple times.


We arrived to where our apartment was supposed to be; actually passed it. Upon returning to where the GPS said it should be we heard someone yelling from an upper floor apartment; that must be our guy. We were sent up the tiny elevator to the room and we were very happy to see our beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean; from Africa!


After a well deserved nap, we headed out to do some exploring. We needed some groceries for the apartment so we headed to a grocery store. For the most part, it wasn’t any different than a grocery store in Europe, except no alcohol to be found. Oh well!


We explored around, found many food options but just got a shawarma! It was one of the best with crispy chicken flavoured with cumin, cinnamon and perhaps cardamom. It came with some store cut fries; all for about $3. Having eating them all over the world, I would say this was one of the best! 


Being Friday, the Muslim sabbath, there were many people enjoying the boardwalk along the ocean. There were many vendors selling tea, cotton candy and snails! Although we didn’t partake in any of the yummy looking snacks, we loved the atmosphere of people enjoying their time.


The sun set around 8pm so we headed back to our apartment and relaxed. 



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